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Iran showcases military might at annual day parade

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A File Photo of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army which is the ground force of the Military of Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran it is also called Artesh.

TEHRAN (AP): President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday praised Iran's military might during an annual army parade.

The parade in Tehran showcased Iran's surface-to-surface Ghadr, Sajjil and Shahab-3 missiles, which have a range of up to 2,000 kilometres that puts Israel and US bases in the region within Iran's reach.

The Shahab-3 missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Although Tehran doesn't have one, this has been a source for Western concerns along with Iran's controversial uranium enrichment programme, which the international community fears masks ambitions for an atomic bomb.

"Today, our armed forces have so much power that no enemy will harbour evil thoughts about laying its hands on Iranian territory," Ahmadinejad said at the parade marking National Army Day.

The speech was broadcast live on state TV, which also showed segments of the parade.

Ahmadinejad also urged the US to stop supporting Israel and to dismantle the American military presence in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Tehran sees American troops on its doorstep in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf as a threat, and Ahmadinejad reiterated his allegations that the US presence is the source of the region's instability.

"They have to leave our region, this is not a request, it is an order from the nations of the region. It is the will of the regional nations," said Ahmadinejad.

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