Iran to unveil new fighter jet

Blanche Robertson
August 19, 2018

Iran will this week unveil a new fighter jet and will continue to develop its missile capabilities as a priority, the defence minister said on Saturday, defying the latest USA sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's missile programme and regional influence.

Noting the unveiling of the new generation of Fateh-e Mobin missile on August 13, the defense minister said the production of the missile will lead to the undertaking of a huge step toward the development of Iran's defense and deterrent capabilities.

Hatami's remarks came less than a month after U.S. President Donald Trump effectively threatened Iran in a tweet addressed to President Hassan Rouhani and said, "You will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before". "We are in a good position in this field, but we need to develop it", Brigadier General Amir Hatami was quoted as saying by Fars news agency on Saturday.

Mr Trump said the deal was deeply flawed as it had not affected Iran's ballistic missile programme or cut its support for proxies in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The new fighter jet has passed all tests and is going to fly on the National Day of Defense Industry, he added.

"We have learnt in the (Iran-Iraq) war that we can not rely on anyone but ourselves".

One US official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100 vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats.

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The defence minister dismissed the idea of an "Arab Nato" - an old concept that has recently resurfaced as Washington tries to push regional countries to accept a greater share of their defence.

Referring to the US plan to create a NATO-like security and political alliance between Arab countries to confront Iran, Hatami said the initiative "is mostly in words" and part of the enemy's strategy to sow discord in the region.

"It is highly unlikely that the Americans and especially the Zionist regime will dare to allow such an alliance between the Muslim countries as they know that Muslim nations have a clear objective and view Israel as the real enemy of the region".

He further maintained that all the progress made in upgrading the country's defense power has taken place in the face of all-out sanctions on Iran's defense industry.

Because of the restrictions, Tehran has worked to develop a domestic arms industry, and in 2013, it unveiled the Qaher 313, a domestically built fighter jet.

The country's functional air force has been limited to perhaps a few dozen strike aircraft, either Russian or United States models acquired before the 1979 revolution.

Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said the defense system would be installed on Iranian warships "that carry out missions in deep and distant waters". "We have budget constraints but enjoy a specific strategy; as the Leader of ISlamic Revolution said, we never pursued nuclear weapons, however, we are strong in defensive capabilities".

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