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Made in Iran: Tehran shows off F-5 knockoffs at military celebration

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran showcased its domestically made fighter jets by flying the aircraft over Tehran during a military parade Thursday marking National Army Day as the country grapples with U.S. sanctions and the Trump administration’s recent terrorism designation of Iran’s powerful paramilitary force.

TV footage showed the aircraft performing during the parade, including the latest all-Iranian fighter jet dubbed Kowsar, which in Islamic meaning refers to a river in paradise and is also the title of a chapter in the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

The Islamic Republic often announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified to boost patriotism. The United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran, including on its energy sector, last November, after President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The twin-seated Kowsar — modeled after American F-5 fighter jet — was inaugurated in 2018, when the TV aired images of President Hassan Rouhani briefly sitting in the plane’s cockpit inside a hangar before the ceremony.

The parade also showcased the Saegheh, or “Thunderbolt,” another domestically built fighter in Iran’s air force, which already has U.S.-made F-4, F-5 as well as F-14 fighter jets and also Russian-made Sukhoi aircraft in service.





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