Iran’s defense minister said Tuesday that the country’s new Russian-made S-300 missile defense system has been moved to an Iranian air defense base, according to state media.
Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan announced that the Russian missile system has arrived at Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base.
"The strategic S-300 defense system has been delivered to [Khatam ol-Anbia] air defense base," Dehqan was quoted as saying. He also said that Iran’s own version of the defense system, named the Bavar-373, will soon be produced.
"This defense system, which can engage with multiple targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles, drones and warplanes, will be manufactured and its production line will be inaugurated this year," Dehqan was quoted as saying. He further stated that the system can destroy multiple targets at one time.
Iran displayed parts of the first S-300 missile system delivered from Russia in April during its National Army Day celebrations, but the latest announcement is the first indication that the Russian missiles have been deployed in Iran.
Russia first signed an $800 million contract to sell the S-300 missile defense systems to Iran in 2007, though the delivery of the missiles was suspended in 2010 after U.N. sanctions were placed on Iran for its nuclear program.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on the shipment last year after Iran struck a preliminary agreement with world powers to curb its nuclear activities, a move that provoked criticism from the United States and Israel.
Russia has said that it will complete the delivery of the S-300 missile systems to Iran by the end of the year.