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Eying U.S., Iran says to boost military might, showcases new fighter jet



LONDON (Reuters) – Iran announced today that it will increase its military power and will also show a new fighter jet amid increasing tensions with the United States and regional rivals over conflicts in the Middle East.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the military prowess of the Islamic Republic was what deterred Washington from attacking it, adding that under President Donald Trump the United States was becoming isolated even from its own allies.

"We should prepare ourselves to fight against the military powers that want to conquer our territory and our resources", said Rouhani in a speech broadcast live by the state television in view of the National Defense Industry Day of Wednesday.

"Why the United States does not attack us? For our power, because it knows the consequences," added Rouhani.

Last week, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also said that the United States would avoid any military confrontation with Tehran due to Iranian military power.

Khamenei rejected Trump's offer of unconditional talks on a new nuclear deal, prompting Trump to tell Reuters in a Monday interview: "If they want to meet, that's fine, and if they do not want to meet , I could not "Never mind."

Relations between Washington and Teheran worsened further after Trump in May led the United States out of an international agreement that halted Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for a loosening of economic sanctions.

Trump branded the 201

5 deal as defective because he did not address Iran's missile program or involvement in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and he reimposed US economic sanctions.

The president Iranian Hassan Rouhani is seen in a fighter jet just unveiled in Teheran, Iran, on 21 August 2018. Tasnim News Agency / Handout through REUTERS

LOSS OF TRUST IN US

Rou hani compared the sanctions on Iran with the US Trade War with China and its new tariffs on some imports from Turkey and European countries.

"We are not the only ones who do not trust America, and today Europe and China do not trust them, even American allies like Canada have lost their trust," he said .

At the beginning of Tuesday, Rouhani participated in a ceremony broadcast by state TV, which included the past of a new fighter jet called Kowsar, which according to Iran is "made 100 percent indigenous "and can carry various weapons and be used for short air support missions.

However, some military experts believe that the fighter jet is a carbon copy of an F-5 produced in the United States in the years & # 39;

"The cell appears to be a two-seater F-5 tiger, unchanged externally.Although it can be produced internally, it is a completely foreign structure," said Justin Bronk, a researcher specializing in combat air forces and technology in the military science team at the Royal United Services Institute.

"This is a very small light fighter with very small engines that limits the thrust output, a very low internal fuel capacity that limits the flow rate and a very small nose that limits the size and power of the radar. that can be adapted, "he told Reuters.

"All of these constraints will not be changed by upgrading the internal components while a modern radar, or modern avionics – according to Iranian standards – could be placed in there, will still be subject to all limits of the F-5's structure."

The Iranian Air Force has limited itself to perhaps a few dozen fighter planes using Russian or aged US models acquired prior to the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Iran sent weapons and thousands of soldiers in Syria to help support the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, but had to rely on Russia for air support due to its lack of a powerful air force.

The Islamic Republic launched in 2013 what it said to be a new combat fighter nationwide, called Qaher 313, but some experts expressed doubts about the feasibility of the aircraft at that time.

Slideshow (3 images)

Report by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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