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Iran to hold major air defense exercise in October

Source: ISNA

Iran says it has planned a major air defense exercise for the second half of October. Air defense commander Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said in a press conference on Monday all military units will take part in the exercise.

Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base commander said the large scale military exercise will be held across the country.

The drill is a joint cooperation of the military forces and Revolutionary Guard Corps in response to enemies' threats, he noted.

Esmaili was referring to the Israeli officials increasing threats that they would strike Iran's nuclear facilities.

Tel Aviv claims Tehran's nuclear program has military intentions. Iran has always rejected the allegations saying the program is peaceful and merely aimed at civilian activities.

"We suggest that they turn to reasonable activities and avoid the baseless threats," he said and added the air defense is a priority for the country considering its mission that is protecting the refineries and nuclear facilities.

Currently 3600 air defense bases are scattered across the country and the number is increasing.

He also announced Iran has made 30 percent progress on construction of the localized air defense system that is to substitute for the Russian S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems. The Iranian-made system is called "Bavar 373" (belief) with more advanced capabilities than S-300 and Iran tries to conclude the project by the next Iranian year to begin in March 2013.

Iran's "Bavar 373" air defense system

Iran and Russia signed a contract in 2007 under which Russia accepted to sell at least five S-300 air-defense systems to Iran but it failed to comply with the terms of the contract saying the missiles are under the UN Security Council resolutions.

The measure sparked Tehran's criticism and it finally took the case to Geneva international arbitration court demanding $900 million. The court also demanded Russia to pay another $3billion to Iran for compensation, an act that Tehran says took place without its knowledge. Russia has already lost the cost of contract that is $1billion.

... Payvand News - 09/03/12 ... --

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