Iran Shows Off New Russian Weapons at Iranian Army Day
Iran showcased its new Russian-made missile defense system on Sunday, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying the weapons were to protect the country from “terrorism and Israel,” the BBC reported.
The Iranian leader told crowds at the annual Army Day parade that Iran's neighboring Muslim countries should not feel threatened.
“If tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Rouhani said.
“The power of our armed forces is not aimed at any of our neighbors. Its purpose is to defend Islamic Iran and act as an active deterrent.”
Russia signed an $800 million agreement with Iran in 2007 for delivery of the S-300 missile defense systems, but Moscow froze the deal three years later amid international sanctions against Tehran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the cancellation a “friendly gesture” toward the West.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jaberi Ansari said last week that the first batch of S-300 systems had been delivered, while an unidentified official in Russia's arms export business also confirmed the shipment, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.
During Army Day celebrations in Tehran, trucks carrying the missiles paraded in front of Rouhani and military commanders
S-300 missile defense systems can engage multiple aircraft and ballistic missiles around 150 kilometers away, Reuters reported.