Iran has put on a military parade in the capital Tehran for its Army Day.
President Hassan Rouhani, running for re-election next month and flanked by Iran’s top military commanders, asserted on Tuesday, “Our Armed Forces will not be a threat to others….We move in the direction of avoiding confrontations and tensions; however, we should always maintain our alertness against conspiracies by others and should enhance our deterrent power day by day.”
He sent the message to regional neighbors that Iran’s military power was “defensive”, not “offensive”, while promising a “vigorous and determined” response to potential aggressors.
Rouhani stayed away from specific references to the Syrian conflict, in which the Iranian military is propping up the Assad regime, and conflict with Saudi Arabia, including over the Yemeni civil war. But he said, “Some of the world’s armies are reminiscent of intervention in other countries’ internal affairs, genocide, terror sponsorship, coups d’état, and lack of regard for the people’s opinion and law.”
The Supreme Leader’s military advisor, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, upheld a “defensive prowess and deterrence power” based on “domestic knowhow”. He said that while other forces were causing instability in the region, Iran’s armed forces are providing national security “at a level exceeding expectations”.
European Union Signs Nuclear Safety Agreement with Iran
The European Commission has agreed the first-ever project for nuclear safety cooperation with Iran.
Working under the framework of the July 2015 nuclear deal, the two sides are pursuing a €2.5 million ($2.68 million) project enhance the capabilities of the Iranian Nuclear Regulatory Authority. The EU support the INRA in developing a nuclear regulatory framework for the accession by Iran to international nuclear conventions, and in reviewing the results of the stress test to take place in the Bushehr nuclear power plant.