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22 September 2004: Parade in Tehran
By Photos Liam F. Devlin, text Tom Cooper
Dec 18, 2003, 12:05

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As usually, on the Iranian military held a parade in Tehran on 22 September 2004, on anniversary of the Iraqi invasion from 1980. This year the participants on the parade were almost exclusively from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), with participation of regular Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Services (IRIAS) being limited to few small contingents, or single exponates. Especially the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) was completely ignored this year: not only that no IRIAF fighters flew over Tehran, but its only exponates were the well-known dummies of different PGMs developed by Iranian defence industries in the recent years.

Such behaviour is in accordance with the recent politics of the government in Tehran in regards of the war with Iraq, which is ever stronger favouring the IRGC: from recent reporting, namely, it appears the IRIAS did not participate in that war at all, while the IRGC was fighting every single battle.

Another interesting detail that becomes apparent from these photographs is the fact that - with some exceptions of course - several most important exponates are now sure to be dummies, put together for display purposes. But, more about this topic in captions of specific photographs.

One of the few IRIAS exponates was this re-worked Chieftain MBT, named Mobarez ("Challenger"), with some new armour on the side, and re-engined with a more powerful engine based on US-technology. (all photos by Liam F. Devlin & ACIG.org)

Zolfaqar 3 MBT was shown again, and again it was carried on a trailer, which rises some questions about the actual status of this project.

Above and bellow: two new appearances were these unknown, Iranian-made assault vehicles, apparently in service with IRGC.

Above and bellow: T-72B with new configuration of ERA armour was shown again this year, as well as one of Iranian Army BMP-2 IFVs, which were so far seldom displayed in public - and if, then in a completely different camouflage pattern.

Mounted on a slightly different pedestal, the Shahab 3 IRBM was displayed again. Shown was what should actually be the Shahab 3B, a version with a new warhead. But, a closer look at the paraded example proved that this was actually a dummy.

With no IRIAF fighters in the air, the sole appearance connected with the IRIAF - probably the only service that is currently standing between Iran and the threats of attacks from the USA and Israel - was this trailer with well-known dummies of different PGMs produced in Iran.

Another new appearance was this HY-2 Silkworm anti-ship missile: the Iranians did not show any of their indigenuous versions this time.

Above and bellow: Zelzal-2 (an improved version of Zelzal-1, shown last yer) SSM, as well as Naze'at-6 SSM were shown as well. Both weapons are meanwhile in widespread service with several units, and enable Iran to reach most of Iraq as well as almost any point in the Persian Gulf.

© Copyright 2002-3 by ACIG.org

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