Iran showed off its military might and threatened Israel during its annual Army Day parade.
Iran marked its annual National Army Day on Tuesday, which celebrates the establishment of the Islamic Republic’s military, with a display of weaponry and calls for death to Israel and America.
A missile with an anti-Israel banner was displayed, reading “Death to Israel” in Persian. President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian armed forces commanders reviewed an army parade next to a portrait of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and in front of mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran’s capital.
Different units of Iran’s armed forces marched in uniform, while showing off military hardware.
“Unlike the armies of certain countries which represent aggression against the other nations, support terrorism, and ignore the law, the Iranian Army is the embodiment of order, faith, legitimate defense, and respect for law and national interests,” Rouhani asserted during the parade, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
Iranian officials repeatedly claim that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country, but the writing on the missile on display indicates otherwise.
Iran has previously displayed threatening messages against Israel on its weaponry.
In March 2016, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles at a target some 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away. The phrase “Israel must be wiped out” was written on the missiles.
Commenting on Iran’s exhibition of weapons in a military parade in 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “do whatever is necessary to defend the security of the state and its citizens.”
“Every year [at Iran’s military parade] the missiles are bigger and enhanced—in accuracy, strength, and deadliness,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting at the time. “However, one thing does not change. What does not change is the inscription ‘Death to Israel’ on the missiles.”