Iran to Build Own Air Defense System After Russia Withholds S-300 Missiles

Iran’s Defense Ministry said the country will produce its own advanced anti-aircraft missile system similar to THE S-300 which Russia decided not to supply in compliance with international sanctions.

“We have planned to build a long-range air defense missile system similar to S-300,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying by the state-run Mehr news agency in a report published on its website late yesterday. “By God’s grace and with Iranian engineers’ efforts, we will reach self- sufficiency.”

Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview Sept. 20 that the decision not to deliver S-300 missiles to Iran was “dictated by a complicated military and political situation in the region and support of the United Nations sanctions against Iran.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree yesterday banning the sale of weapons, including S-300 air defense systems, to Iran.

Iran is subject to four sets of United Nations sanctions over uranium enrichment activities as part of its nuclear program. Enriched uranium can fuel a nuclear reactor or form the core of a bomb.

Iran rejects allegations that it may seek to develop nuclear weapons, saying its program is needed to generate electricity.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Tehran at lnasseri@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maher Chmaytelli at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net

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