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Iran's president shows off military strength at parade

 At a military parade Thursday the Islamic Republic's president told troops that Iran had become a powerful nation and no world authority could threaten its security.

''I am proud to announce that the Iranian nation's power today is so great that no major world power is able or would dare to threaten Iran's national interests,'' Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a parade marking the country's Army day outside Tehran.

As part of the celebrations around 200 military aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) conducted a flyby of the parade ground. The parade also involved a range of armor and missile launchers, including Iran's long-range Shahab-3 missile, as well as other hardware and equipment.

''The Iranian nation with its courageous army will defend its interests with all its strength,'' the president said, adding that Iran's military would "effectively rebuff the slightest aggression" against it.

A senior Iranian commander warned on Tuesday that his military would wipe Israel off the world map if the Zionists attacked the Islamic Republic.

Deputy Commander-in-Chief Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said Iran is on constant alert due to the presence of "foreign forces" in the region, and is ready to decisively repel any attack."

Six countries mediating in the nuclear dispute with Iran met in Shanghai on Wednesday to discuss new incentives to persuade Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment program, but failed to reach a consensus on a new package.

The U.S. and the West have repeatedly called on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment, which many countries suspect is a cover for nuclear weapons production, insisting it needs to generate electricity. The country is currently under three sets of UN sanction over its controversial program.

RIA Novosti

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