Iran unveils its own version of S-300 air defense system

Iran unveils its own version of S-300 air defense system, Israel Hayom, August 22, 2016

iran 373Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan with the Bavar 373 | Photo credit: Reuters

According to Iranian media, the system can engage cruise missiles, drones, fighter jets and ballistic missiles. Production began after Russia put a deal to supply Iran with the original S-300 system on hold as part of international pressure geared toward curbing Iran’s nuclear program. The decision to suspend the deal was made after Israel and the U.S. pressured Moscow to enforce nuclear sanctions on Iran.

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Iran revealed Sunday its first long-range, domestically built air defense system, which supposedly has similar characteristics to the Russian made S-300.

The Iranian media aired footage of President Hassan Rouhani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan standing near the system, the Bavar (Belief) 373, whose production was commissioned in 2010.

According to Iranian media, the system can engage cruise missiles, drones, fighter jets and ballistic missiles. Production began after Russia put a deal to supply Iran with the original S-300 system on hold as part of international pressure geared toward curbing Iran’s nuclear program. The decision to suspend the deal was made after Israel and the U.S. pressured Moscow to enforce nuclear sanctions on Iran.

In the wake of the landmark July 2015 nuclear agreement between Western powers and Iran, Russia agreed to proceed with the S-300 deal and some of the system’s components have reportedly already been delivered.

“Our goal was not to make an Iranian version of the S-300, but rather a [new] Iranian system, and we built it,” Dehghan told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency on Saturday. A day earlier, during Friday prayers, he said that “our missile power is at such a level that we are able to destroy all targets at any operational range.”

Iran’s president echoed Dehghan’s comments on Sunday, telling Iranians in a televised speech that “we are able to engage world powers around the negotiating table because of our national strength, because of our national unity.”

Rouhani also unveiled his country’s first Iranian-made turbojet engine on Sunday. Iran claims it can be used for flight at 50,000 feet. “The Islamic republic is one of only eight countries in the world that have mastered the technology to build these engines,” the president said.

Rouhani also announced that Iran’s defense budget was more than double what it was the previous fiscal year.

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