TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s chief of staff of the armed forces said Wednesday a $38 billion aid deal between the United States and Israel makes Iran more determined to strengthen its military.
In comments broadcast live on Iranian state TV, Gen Mohammad Hossein Bagheri said the U.S.-Israel aid deal “will make us more determined in strengthening the defense power of the country.” He spoke at an annual military parade.
Last week the U.S signed an unprecedented new security agreement with Israel that will give the Israeli military $38 billion over 10 years.
Iran does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israeli militant groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
During a separate parade Wednesday in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, Iran unveiled a new missile, known as Zolfaghar.
It was carried by military truck which bore a banner printed with a 2013 anti-Israeli quote by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that Iran will annihilate the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa should Israel attack Iran.
Tasnim, the semi-official news agency, which is close to Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guard, said the missile is a “long range ballistic” with a cluster warhead. It did not provide further details.
The semi-official ISNA news agency later said the solid-fuel missile had a range of 700 kilometers (435 miles.)
Zolfaghar is the name of the sword used by Imam Ali, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammed and his successor according to Shiite belief.
The annual military parade marked the 36th anniversary of the start of 1980-1988 war between Iran and Iraq that killed more than a million people.