Tehran displays domestically built missile system

Updated August 23, 2019

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TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani (second left) at the unveiling ceremony of the new Iranian-made missile defence system on Thursday.—AFP
TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani (second left) at the unveiling ceremony of the new Iranian-made missile defence system on Thursday.—AFP

DUBAI: Iran displayed what it described as a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defence system on Thursday, at a time of rising tension with the United States.

Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June. It says the drone was over its territory, but the United States says it was in international airspace.

State television showed President Hassan Rouhani attending an unveiling ceremony for the mobile Bavar-373 system, which Iranian media have described as a competitor to the Russian S-300 missile system.

“With this long-range air defence system, we can detect ... targets or planes at more than 300 km, lock it at about 250 km, and destroy it at 200 km,” Defence Minister Amir Hatami told state television.

The system’s unveiling came on Iran’s National Defence Industry Day. Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international sanctions and embargoes that have barred it from importing many weapons.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned at a UN Security Council meeting that, under the Iran nuclear deal, a United Nations arms embargo on Iran was due to expire in October 2020.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2019