In one of its now common displays of strength, Iran has been parading its latest weapon on the streets of Tehran. The Shahab-3, it is claimed, can hit targets up to 2,000 kilometres away – which puts Israel and US bases in the Gulf within its range.
Tehran is embroiled in a row with the West which accuses it of trying to develop the atomic bomb. It denies the accusations, saying its nuclear programme is necessary to produce electricity. Three new fighter jets were also shown off during the military parade marking the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war.
The parade comes just a day after major powers met in Washington for talks on new UN Security Council sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to halt its controversial nuclear development.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to the threat of punitive measures by saying “such decayed tools as psychological warfare and economic sanctions” would not stop his country’s nuclear progress. He also reiterated his call for US and other foreign forces to leave neighbouring Iraq.
Ahmadinejad is expected in the United States next week for the UN General Assembly – his third such visit in as many years, securing his place in the gallery of world leaders who have attended the annual event since 1945.