Iran shows off S-300 air defense missiles amid rocketing tensions
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Iran shows off S-300 air defense missiles amid rocketing tensions

Russian-made batteries make first public appearance in Tehran after Trump calls future of nuke deal into question

A Russian-made S-300 air defense system is on display for the annual Defense Week, marking the 37th anniversary of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, September 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
A Russian-made S-300 air defense system is on display for the annual Defense Week, marking the 37th anniversary of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, September 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard on Sunday publicly displayed the country’s sophisticated Russian-made S-300 air defense system in central Tehran for the first time.

The public show in Baharestan Square near the Parliament building square exhibited different missile systems, including ballistic missiles, solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missiles and the liquid-fuel Ghadr.

The IRGC prepared the show for the annual Defense Week, marking the 37th anniversary of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.

Iran has previously shown off parts of the S-300 system.

Israel had lobbied Russia against selling Iran the advanced air defense system.

On Friday, Iran unveiled a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel and much of the Middle East, drawing anger from the US.

US President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd Annual UN General Assembly in New York on September 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD)

Video of the test firing of a Khoramshahr medium-range ballistic missile aired Friday on Iran’s state TV. The time and location of the test were not mentioned in the report.

In response, US President Donald Trump issued Iran a stark warning that cast growing uncertainty over whether a nuclear deal clinched with the Islamic Republic would survive after the latest test.

“Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

The test came at the end of a heated week of diplomacy at the UN General Assembly in New York, where Trump again accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East, calling it a “rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.”

Previous Iranian missile launches have triggered US sanctions and accusations that they violate the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told CNN the weapons were only defensive, in an interview aired Sunday.

Iran, which fought a war with neighboring Iraq in the 1980s, sees missiles as a legitimate and vital part of its defense — particularly as regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel import huge amounts of military hardware from the West.

Iran announced on Saturday, September 23, 2017, that it has successfully tested a new missile, with a 1,250-mile range, which is capable of reaching Israel and US bases in the Gulf. (Screenshot/PressTV)

Trump has threatened to trash the nuclear agreement altogether, saying Iran is developing missiles that may be used to deliver a nuclear warhead when the deal’s restrictions are lifted in 2025.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced the test as a “provocation” aimed at the United States and its allies, including the Jewish state.

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