Iran held its annual military parade on April 17 to mark National Army Day. debkafile’s military and Iranian sources said it was the most unimpressive in recent years. Iran usually displays its most advanced missiles and other weapons systems, but this year it only showed components of the S-300 antiaircraft system acquired from Russia, demonstrating that Moscow had held back on the entire missiles and will apparently continue to do so in the near future.
On show only were parts of the S-300 radar system, an empty command structure without the launching systems, and a crane used to lift the missiles onto the launchers.
Western military experts who monitored the parade said no other country would display such a miserably inadequate collection of missile system parts, and it emphasizes that Iran did not receive the missiles but only useless components, of the supporting technical system.
The military experts said the other weapons systems displayed at the parade showed that the country’s two main fighting forces are tired and worn out. This follows three years of fighting in Syria by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, and only four months of fighting by units from Iran’s standing army that have had no significant achievements on the battlefield despite massive air support by Russia. It also seems like a very large percentage of those killed and wounded has come from the Revolutionary Guard.
debkafile’s military sources report that during the Teharn parade, Iranian Gen. Mohamed Reda Zada was seriously wounded on the front near Aleppo in northern Syria. Zada was the latest of a long list of high-ranking Iranian casualties of the war. The Revolutionary Guard arranged for a special plane to fly him back to Tehran the same day, and he is now in a military hospital where doctors are fighting for his life.
Meanwhile, despite the lifting of sanctions following Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers, Tehran has not only been unable to acquire advanced weapons, but has also failed to recover its frozen assets from US and European banks.
US Secretary of State John Kerry notice on April 19 shortly before his meeting in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, that Tehran had only recovered about $3 billion of its frozen assets since the agreement was reached last year.
Kerry ridiculed the American politicians, particularly Republicans, as well as others, such as Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who estimated that Iran would enjoy a windfall of between $100 billion and $150 billion worth of assets.
debkafile’s sources say that there are two reasons why Tehran has only recovered such a comparatively small amount of funds:
1. Although EU member states and the UN have lifted their sanctions, the US has not done so. The Obama administration is having difficulty passing bills in Congress for cancellation of the sanctions, while the Congress is preparing to impose new sanctions over Iran’s continuing tests of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
2. The majority of the Iranian funds are in banks outside the US. Since Washington has yet to lift its sanctions, these banks, which conduct the majority of their transactions in the US, are afraid to release the frozen funds and do business with the Iranians because the US could eventually take action against them.
In other words, the losses incurred by international banks for doing business with Iran would be grater than their profits.