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Iran has been displaying its military power at a ceremony to mark the country's annual army day.

Speaking at the parade, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was the most powerful nation in the world.
The country's strength was such that no major power would dare to challenge its security, he said.
Official media claimed the ceremony included the largest ever show of aerial strength, with a fly past by almost 200 aircraft.
There was also a huge military parade, with missiles displayed on trucks.
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It is incorrect to write 'Iran was the most powerful nation in the world'..
It should be 'Iran is the most powerful nation in the world'.
What do you think?
He didn't mince his words. He clearly said that Iran is the most powerful nation in the world.
Comments  
No, it's correct, this is the tradition in English in terms of tense sequence in reported speech.
Only when you really want to emphasize that the statement is still valid, would you use is there.
Nothing personal, but if you ask for my opinion, "was" or "is", I think that is the biggest joke I heard for a while, aside from being an arrogant nonsense.

RotterIran has been displaying its military power at a ceremony to mark the country's annual army day.

Speaking at the parade, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was the most powerful nation in the world.

The country's strength was such that no major power would dare to challenge its security, he said.

Official media claimed the ceremony included the largest ever show of aerial strength, with a fly past by almost 200 aircraft.

There was also a huge military parade, with missiles displayed on trucks.

--

It is incorrect to write 'Iran was the most powerful nation in the world'..

It should be 'Iran is the most powerful nation in the world'.

What do you think?

He didn't mince his words. He clearly said that Iran is the most powerful nation in the world.

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I thank both Marius and Goodman for the reply.
Marius wrote the following:
No, it's correct, this is the tradition in English in terms of tense sequence in reported speech. Only when you really want to emphasize that the statement is still valid, would you use is there.
Yes, the situation is valid and you must write 'is' in the given context.

5. Peter loves Maria.
6. Peter said he loves Maria.
The fifth sentence is the correct sentence.
7. Peter said he loved Maria.
The seventh sentence is incorrect.
So the President said Iran is the most powerful ...
You can't write Iran was the most powerful ...
[ I personally don't agree with what this man has said. I am interested in grammatical aspects.]
>Yes, the situation is valid and you must write 'is' in the given context.
No, you're not mandated to write is. That's a choice that you make.

I could give you hundreds of examples from the literature when that is not being done, but I am not going to lose my time on this.
Thanks Marius

5. Peter loves Maria.
6. Peter said he loves Maria.
The sixth sentence is the correct sentence.
7. Peter said he loved Maria.
The seventh sentence is incorrect.
So in the above I am free to write either sixth or sventh sentence. However, I am a bit perplexed.
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Yes, any time you are doing reported speech, you can use the past version.

If you wish to truly emphasize how current the situation remains, you can use present as well, but only for reporting speech that is recent. You would not say "Back in 1988, Peter said that he loves Maria." You would also not use the present if you know the situation has changed since then.