President Rouhani lauds army as 'guardian of Iran's life'

President Rouhani lauds army as 'guardian of Iran's life'

Iran on Friday paraded disinfection vehicles, mobile hospitals and other medical equipment as it marked its national Army Day, to underscore the military's role in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

“Due to health and social protocols, it is not possible to hold a parade of soldiers ... The enemy now is hidden and doctors and nurses are [instead] at the frontlines of the battlefield,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a message to soldiers, disseminated by media.

Rouhani made the remarks in a statement issued on the occasion of National Army Day. The president’s statement was read out by Minister of Defense Brigadier-General Amir Hatami during a ceremony to mark the National Army Day in the Iranian capital.

As the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the country, the occasion was commemorated in a different way this year.

It included a “parade of services” which was actually a parade of health and Army equipment to battle against the epidemic.

Social distancing protocols were fully practiced during the ceremony.

Describing the Army forces as the defenders of the country and the supporters of the defenders of health, the president said in his statement that today the Iranian citizens at home and the economic and social activists at work are seeing their national might maneuver and salute the Army and the health workers.

Army chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi also thanked thousands of military medical staff who are fighting the coronavirus.

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic had recommended forming very strong armed forces which could defend country against internal and external threats.

On April 18, 1979, Imam Khomeini named 18 April as Army Day, during a speech to the people calling for military parades to exhibit the nation's military preparedness.

Imam Khomeini, the leader of contemporary Muslim world believed that political, social, and economic independence as well as security of the country hinged on existence of powerful military and police forces which formed the pillars of every country’s independence.  

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