And unlike even a few years ago, Iran now has more than a dozen official and semiofficial media outlets — including English and Arabic language services — to release reports on purported breakthroughs or advances.
Yet the new policy also leaves many questions open about whether Iran's claims can be backed up.
Experts in cyber-technology have raised serious doubts about Iran's plans to create its own Internet that would be independent of the one the rest of the world uses. There have also been no independent reviews or shared war games that would permit examination of the purported new, domestically produced additions to its arsenal, which include submarines, sophisticated drones and the "stealth" fighter displayed on Sunday.
"A hoax intended for the Iranian people," concluded Tal Inbar, head of Space and UAV research at The Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, an institute founded by the Israel Air Force Association.
"It is a mock up and a very crude and unrealistic one," he said after examining images from Iranian media. "You can clearly see that is made out of fiber glass and that it lacks any logic in the aerodynamics design ... It lacks any modern avionics and instruments found in a real aircraft."
Dubai-based security analyst Theodore Karasik sees a "Potemkin Village" aspect to Iran's military and technology claims, but he said dismissing Iran's expanding know-how is a mistake.
Iran has shown it has the foundations for spacefaring expertise by putting satellites into orbit, and its longtime connections with countries such as North Korea and Russia have given it the backbone for a formidable missile program capable of reaching Israel and U.S. bases in the region.
Iranian naval power also appears on the rise, with recent drills near the Strait of Hormuz — the tanker route for one-fifth of the world's crude oil. Warships have traveled into the Mediterranean twice since 2011 in a clear signal to Israel that Iran's military is not just confined to its own neighborhood.
"What Iran parades out as advances is mostly to reinforce the public idea they have an indigenous program and are capable of protecting the Islamic Republic," said Karasik, a regional security expert at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. "But it's not all just a show and Iran does have some credible power. It's just really hard to tell which is which."
Observers should expect more claims in the week ahead, as Iranian officials build up toward the Feb. 11, anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution with a so-called "10 Days of Dawn."
On Monday, as part of the ceremonies, military officials unveiled an upgraded version of Iran's Zolfaqar tank that is billed as a rival to Russia's T-72s, one of the mainstays of Moscow's army.
Increasingly, though, the patriotic themes and claims of advancements must compete with the hardship and uncertainty generated by the West's economic squeeze.
"To the people of Iran, much like everywhere else, economic problems take priority," said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born analyst based in Israel. "How can the people of Iran be impressed when there are reports the Iranian government has not allocated sufficient funds to import medicine?"
Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
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