ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran unveiled a new fighter jet on Tuesday and promised to boost military strength for fear of “powers” eyeing to “take over” the country.
The Islamic Republic’s President, Hassan Rouhani, marked National Defence Industry Day in Tehran where the domestically manufactured aircraft dubbed the “Kowsar” made its debut in a fly-by.
According to the Iranian news agency Tasnim, the Kowsara 1 can only be used for “short aerial support missions” and is equipped with “highly integrated architecture and a fire control system.”
“We should ready ourselves to fight the military powers who want to take over our territory and resources,” Rouhani said in a speech aired live on a state-owned media outlet. He claimed that steps taken towards further military development were “defensive” measures, stating “our preparations are not for war but for… sustainable peace.”
The president went on to say that the US would not dare launch an attack on Iranian soil, saying, “Why does the United States not attack us? Because of our power, and it knows the consequences.”
Relations between the western power and Iran worsened after President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal—which some European countries are still trying to salvage—from the international nuclear accord, the aim of which was to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
Earlier this month, the US re-imposed a set of sanctions on Iran dealing with the import of Iranian metals and automobiles. The more important sanctions, however, are set to take effect on November 5 and will include Iran’s oil, financial, and shipping sectors.
Since the sanctions were re-imposed, Iran’s currency, the Rial, plummeted in value and protests erupted over the struggling economy and Tehran’s costly involvement in regional conflicts.
On Monday the US announced it had arrested and indicted two Iranian men on spying charges, including the surveillance of a Jewish facility and members of an Iranian militant opposition group.
In a press statement released by the US Department of Justice, Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 38, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 59, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, are accused of acting “on behalf of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Editing by John J. Catherine