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Iran successfully tests new air defence system

A medium-range Iranian Qadr ballistic missile, launched last year [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 March, 2017

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Iranian state media announced that its air defence system, designed to protect the country's nuclear reactors from Israeli attack, were successfully drilled against a variety of different targets.

Iran's advanced air defence system, delivered by Russia following years of delay, has finally been tested and is currently online, Iran's state TV channels reported on Saturday.

The S-300 system can reportedly repel Israeli missile threats against its nuclear sites, Iran's media announced, and was finally delivered by the Kremlin after international sanctions were recently lifted.

"The S-300 is a system that is deadly for our enemies and which makes our skies more secure," said air defence commander General Farzad Esmaili.

The system was reportedly drilled by launching actual rockets in response to increasingly difficult missions, such as locking on to targets in "difficult conditions".

According to Esmaili, Iran is also testing a new, more advanced defence system called Bavar 373 which will replace the S-300 system soon.

The original deal between Russia and Iran was signed in 2007 but was later suspended in 2010 due to a UN arms embargo against Iran. The deal was later revived in January 2016 after the international nuclear agreement with Iran went into effect.

State television showed video of the air defence system being fitted near a mountain nuclear site near Qom, south of Tehran, in August.

The new air defence system arrives amid rising tensions in the region between Iran and its regional enemies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel, two key allies of the new President of the United States, Donald Trump.

President Trump has said he wants to impose a tough stance against Iran, which he "officially put on notice" in February.

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