For the international community, the Iranian Army Day brought a revelation of regarding the weapons capability of the Iranian regime. An unidentified air-launched cruise missile was on display during the Army Day parade. It was marked with the initials of the Iranian Air Force and the missile featured trapezoidal grid fins.
The features on the missile suggest that it has a homing device of some kind. During the parade, Iranian President Rouhani said that Iran is willing to produce or acquire whatever weapons that the country needed, with or without the consent of the international community. It seemed clear that Rouhani was making reference to the ballistic missile program that has been a source of conflict with other nations.
While the country’s president claimed that the weapons display was meant to showcase these deterrents, which he claimed were not a threat to Iran’s neighbors in the region, it was clear to the international community that it was meant to be a show of force in light of the potential risk to the continuation of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The United States President Trump has indicated that the European Union has until the middle of May to make changes to the agreement or the United States would reimpose the sanctions against Iran, essentially ending the agreement.
“[W]e are not living in a normal region, and we see invading powers have built bases around us,” said Rouhani. The display also included an upgraded missile defense system called the Kamin-2, which is designed to engage low-altitude threats. These threats can include a variety of UAVs, as well as low-flying planes.
While the regional neighbors of Iran have yet to weigh in on this display, it is evident that this display was meant to intimidate, especially in light of pressure from key players in Europe. Those leaders are proposing new sanctions for Iran in an attempt to keep President Trump from leaving the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Iran’s regime has a history of defying the international community and seems indifferent to the idea of new sanctions, even as the Iranian economy continues to struggle. Unemployment, particularly among young people, remains stubbornly high. The economic benefits of the lifting of sanctions outlined in the 2015 nuclear agreement have not had a positive impact on the Iranian economy, as the Iranian people were told to expect. Therefore, while the regime struggles to find a place in the international community, the fundamentalism of the mullahs must also be protected from the uprising of the international community.