Iran releases images of new missile defense system
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Iran releases images of new missile defense system

Unveiling Bavar 373, President Rouhani says Tehran’s military budget has more than doubled since last year

A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on August 21, 2016 shows him (3rd-R) and Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan (2nd-L) standing next to the new Bavar 373 missile defence system in Tehran.
The system was designed to intercept cruise missiles, drones, combat aircraft and ballistic missiles, according to earlier statements by Dehghan. (AFP PHOTO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY)
A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on August 21, 2016 shows him (3rd-R) and Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan (2nd-L) standing next to the new Bavar 373 missile defence system in Tehran. The system was designed to intercept cruise missiles, drones, combat aircraft and ballistic missiles, according to earlier statements by Dehghan. (AFP PHOTO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY)

Iran released images of its first domestically built long-range missile defense system on Sunday, a project started when the country was under international sanctions.

Images released on multiple state news agencies showed President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan standing in front of the new Bavar 373 missile defense system.

The system was designed to intercept cruise missiles, drones, combat aircraft and ballistic missiles, according to earlier statements by Dehghan.

It was intended to match the Russian S-300 system, the delivery of which was suspended in 2010 due to sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran's domestically made long-range missile defense system, the Bavar-373, seen on display during a 2015 parade. (screen capture: YouTube)
Iran’s domestically made long-range missile defense system, the Bavar-373, seen on display during a 2015 parade. (screen capture: YouTube)

“We did not intend to make an Iranian version of the S-300 — we wanted to build an Iranian system, and we built it,” Dehghan told the IRNA news agency on Saturday.

Rouhani said in a televised speech that Iran’s military budget had more than doubled compared with last year.

“If we are able to discuss with world powers around the negotiating table, it is because of our national strength, because of our national unity,” he said.

In 2015, shortly before the conclusion of an international agreement on the nuclear program, Moscow re-authorized the delivery of the S-300 system in a move criticized by the United States and Israel.

Iran’s army said in May that it was now equipped with the S-300 system, though further parts are due over the coming months.

Rouhani also unveiled the first Iranian-made fighter jet engine on Sunday, saying it was capable of flight at 50,000 feet.

“The Islamic Republic is one of eight countries in the world who have mastered the technology to build these engines,” the president said.

A day earlier, Iran vowed to continue its efforts to advance its missile technology, and expressed its unceasing support for those who form the “anti-Zionism front” as well as for fighters in other “proxy and terrorist wars in the region.”

The pledge came as part of a statement from the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces to mark the country’s National Defense Industry Day, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Iran’s army and defense experts “will continue the trend of increasing the power and enhancing the precision striking and the destructive power of our missiles,” the statement said.

Last month, FOX News reported that Iran conducted its fourth ballistic missile test since it signed a deal with world powers last year to curb its nuclear activity.

Tehran’s new ballistic missile, made using North Korean technology, exploded shortly after launch outside the city of Isfahan, intelligence officials told the media outlet.

A missile launched from the Alborz mountains in Iran on March 9, 2016, reportedly inscribed in Hebrew, 'Israel must be wiped out.' (Fars News)
A missile launched from the Alborz mountains in Iran on March 9, 2016, reportedly inscribed in Hebrew, ‘Israel must be wiped out.’ (Fars News)

According to the July report, the maximum range of the missile is 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers), more than twice the distance between Tehran and Jerusalem.

Though not banned by Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement, the launch violated United Nations resolution 2231, which calls on Tehran to refrain from ballistic missiles development, including testing, for eight years.

Iran has maintained it never sought to acquire nuclear weapons and never will, and the agreement does not prohibit legitimate and conventional military activities.

Tehran said earlier in July it would continue its ballistic missile program even after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the missile tests were not in the spirit of the nuclear deal.

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