Iran’s military chief: ‘Criminal’ US aid to Israel motivates country to build power


(JTA) — The $38 million, 10-year defense aid package granted to Israel by the United States makes Iran “more determined” to strengthen its military, Iran’s military chief of staff said.

Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri made the statement Wednesday at an annual military parade broadcast on state television. Parades were held throughout the Islamic Republic.

“The criminal move [by the United States] to sign an agreement to present a supportive military package to the Zionist regime is a desperate attempt to protect the security vacuum of the regime and makes us more determined to increase our military power,” Baqeri said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

At a parade in Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, the Islamic Republic unveiled its new multiple-warhead, long-range Zofaghar missile riding on a military truck carrying a poster with an anti-Israel statement made in 2013 by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It reads: “If the leaders of the Zionist regime make a mistake, then the Islamic Republic will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust.”

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