TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a military parade in Tehran on Tuesday Iran would “cut off the hands” of anyone who attacked the country.
“Iranian armed forces will cut off the hands of any attackers before they pull the trigger,” he said in an address at a parade broadcast on state television to mark the start of the Iran-Iraq war in September 1980.
“No power in the world is daring enough to attack Iran as we are more experienced and powerful than ever,” Ahmadinejad said.
Hundreds of troops marched past the official podium packed with top officials, followed by military hardware including Ghadr, Sejil and Shahab-3 long-range missiles which are made in Iran.
Television commentators said the Shahab-3 missile had a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), putting Israel within striking distance.
Shorter range missiles, unmanned planes and locally made jet fighters -- Saegheh and Azarkhsh, artillery and rockets were also on display.
Trucks drove past bearing slogans reading “Down with Israel” and “Down with USA.” Iran has always played down any threats of possible U.S. or Israeli attacks on Iran and says it is well-prepared to respond if any such strike was made.
The United States and its allies are seeking to intensify U.N. sanctions on Iran over the Islamic country’s disputed nuclear programme, which the West fears is intended to build nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied this.
Iran has repeatedly condemned the military presence of the U.S. and its allies in neighboring countries.
“The roots of all conflicts in the region is the presence of foreign troops,” Ahmadinejad said.
Washington and Israel do not rule out military action against Iran over the nuclear issue.
Tehran is due to hold talks on October 1 with major world powers over concerns about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear strategy.
Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; Writing by Reza Derakhshi; Editing by Louise Ireland