Iranians walk past a fighter jet at the Holy Defence Museum in Tehran. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran unveiled 10 overhauled Sukhoi 22 fighter jets on Wednesday amid increasing tensions with the US.
"After this overhaul, the bomber fighters will be able to carry and use smart and pin-pointing cluster bombs, air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles and transmit data and information from drones from a several-kilometer distance," the commander of the IRGC air force General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Fars news agency.
The first round of US sanctions against Iran will come into force in a week and a half and the leaders of the two foes have been flinging threats back and forth.
On July 22, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the US will face "the mother of all wars" if it continues to isolate Iran diplomatically and target its economy.
US President Donald Trump responded a day later with an all-caps tweet.
"NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE," he warned.
Iran also has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz – a strategic oil shipping route – if the US continues to try to stop sales of Iranian oil.
Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued Iran a list of demands, including ending nuclear and military activities.
Iran has continued work on its ballistic missile program. And its military involvement in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as its support of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, are seen as threats by the US and its regional allies.