Chanting "God is Greatest", troops paraded missiles carriers, some
bearing banners saying "Death to America" and "Death to Israel",
armored personnel carriers and unmanned surveillance aircraft as
well as small submarines with men wearing aqua-lungs alongside.
Unlike hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani did not use
his speech to lash out at the United States and Israel, which Tehran
refuses to recognize.
"We told the world during the (nuclear) talks and we repeat that we
don't support any aggression ... We support dialogue," Rouhani said
in the live broadcast.
"We don't attack any country and don't want war but we will firmly
confront any aggression against Iran," he said, as helicopters and
fighter jets flew overhead and parachutists landed in the parade
area in the south of the capital near the shrine of revolutionary
leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Rouhani, whose election in June paved the way for a major thaw in
ties with the West, was referring to the talks with six major powers
to hammer out a permanent agreement aimed at resolving the
decade-old nuclear standoff.
[to top of second column]
Under a November preliminary agreement between Iran and the world
powers, that took effect on January 20, Iran is to scale back its
nuclear activities in exchange for initial relief from international
trade and financial sanctions.
The next meeting between Iran, the United States, France, Russia,
Germany, China and Britain is set for May 13 in Vienna, where they
will start drafting the final agreement.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)
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