Plans to Bolster Defense Capabilities Outlined

Plans to Bolster Defense Capabilities OutlinedPlans to Bolster Defense Capabilities Outlined

The defense chief presented highlights of plans to enhance defense capabilities in a press conference on Tuesday, ahead of National Defense Industry Day annually celebrated on August 22.   

Noting that the Defense Ministry's Aerospace Industries Organization has concentrated on a variety of ballistic missiles, Lieutenant General Hossein Dehqan said, "We are working to improve the precision and efficiency of missiles against electronic warfare."

On the controversial long-delayed delivery of Russian S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran, he said, "Delivery of the updated system is due in the near future under a contract to be signed in Moscow next week."

Moscow and Tehran signed an $800 million deal in late 2007 on the purchase of S-300 missiles, but three years later Russia decided not to ship them to Iran under the pretext that it was covered by the fourth round of the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting the ban on the supply of the systems to Iran.

"Their pretext of the UN resolution's prohibitive provisions could not prevent the delivery of the missile system," the defense minister was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying.

He also announced plans to purchase fighter jets from Russia.

Stressing that Iran will not stop holding military drills, Dehqan said, "Military exercises will be conducted regularly as before, without delay."

The historic agreement reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) in July requires Majlis approval before being put into force.

The senior official said after Parliament approves the deal and Iran implements the UN nuclear agency's Additional Protocol as part of the accord, nuclear facilities will become subject to monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency only through conventional and established mechanisms and Iran will not accept an extraordinary inspection regime.

Pointing to the situation after sanctions are removed within a few months, when foreign firms will be vying to enter the Iranian market, he urged vigilance to avoid loss of self-sufficiency by  overreliance on foreigners.

"We should be mindful of the extent and domains of cooperation with other countries."