Iran’s Army Day Parade Focuses on Medical Gear, Not Arms

Parade featured 'helpers of health'

One of the nations that continues to be hardest hit by the coronavirus in the world, Iran’s Army Day was hardly the sort of day for a celebratory military parade that it usually is. This year, the focus was on the military’s role in fighting the virus.

Dubbed the “helpers of health,” the parade that usually shows missiles and other arms instead focused on mobile hospitals and decontamination units, with an emphasis on military medical staff being active in civilian life.

This shift in parade themes makes a lot of sense given what’s going on right now, and also represents a shift in priority toward healthcare and away from costly and endless military buildups. During the pandemic, this is a shift that could get a lot of support.

Getting the coronavirus under control is a huge priority across much of the world, and any nation that has a military that can contribute to the fight has done so. The long-term question is whether this priority will be a long-term change, or whether once the virus is resolved everyone will go back to focusing on conventional wars.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.