21:41 GMT16 January 2021
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    Iran celebrated the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Islamic Republic's Armed Forces on Thursday, with parades held across the country and the largest taking place in Tehran.

    Iran's new Kowsar fighter jet took to the skies over Tehran on Thursday, joining the air force's Saeqeh, MiG-29, F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat and other models taking part in the National Army Day Parade.

    The plane, introduced late last year, joined a broad assortment of other Iranian-made weapons, including short-, medium- and long-range missiles, such as the Sayyad 2 and Sayyad 3 mobile long-range missiles, as well as armoured vehicles, tanks and artillery, including the Tiam main battle tank.

    Speaking at the parade, President Hassan Rouhani condemned the US' hostile behaviour toward Iran, calling the recent move to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation "abhorrent" and an insult to the nation. 

    "I want to tell the regional countries that the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not against you and your national interests. They stand against invaders," Rouhani said. "The region's nations have lived alongside each other for centuries and never had a problem…If there is a problem, it is caused by others," he added, referring to the US and Israel.

    Relations between Iran and the United States deteriorated to their lowest levels since the 1979 revolution last May, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and enacted a series of tough restrictions aimed at damaging Iran's economy and seeing its lifeline of oil exports drop "to zero." On Tuesday, Iran's parliament ratified a bill designating the US Central Command, the military command responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, as a terrorist organisation, in response to the US' IRGC designation.


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