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Iran Unveils What It Claims To Be A New Jet Fighter

Iran claims it has produced a new, advanced fighter plane. Iranian media published photos, but it is not clear if the images show the new fighter.

Iranian media says that on Wednesday a new Iranian fighter jet was exhibited during the National Defense Industry show.

Images on state television showed President Hassan Rouhani sitting in the cockpit of the new "Kowsar" plane.

Iran claims it is a fourth-generation fighter, with "advanced avionics" and multi-purpose radar, the conservative Tasnim news agency close to the Revolutionary Guard said, adding that it was "100-percent indigenously made".

State TV said the plane had already been through successful testing and showed it waiting on a runway for its first public display flight. But no independent media or experts have seen the plane in flight.

This is the second time in recent years that Iran has "unveiled" a jet fighter. During the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tehran claimed it has produced the F-313, but experts said what was shown was a mock-up and not a real plane.

The plane was first publicly announced on Saturday by Defense Minister Amir Hatami, who had said it would be unveiled on Wednesday.

He gave few details of the project, focusing instead on Iran's efforts to upgrade its missile defenses.

"We have learned in the (Iran-Iraq) war that we cannot rely on anyone but ourselves. Our resources are limited and we are committed to establishing security at a minimum cost," he said in a televised interview.

The US has sold hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to Iran's regional rivals, but has demanded that Tehran curb its defense programs, and is in the process of reimposing crippling sanctions in a bid to force its capitulation.

With reporting by Reuters