Iran acquired system in summer of 2016, deploying the S-300 system to its underground nuclear facility Fordo; Iranian General warns system is “deadly to our enemies” and makes Iran’s skies “more secure”
Iran’s Air Defense successfully tested its Russian purchased S-300 system, announcing on Saturday that the system is operational and that it is “deadly for our enemies”.
Iran confirmed it successfully tested the long-range surface-to-air missile system on Saturday, Air Defense General Farzad Esmaili warning “The S-300 is a system that is deadly for our enemies and which makes our skies more secure.”
Iran purchased the S-300 missile defense system from Russia, the arms deal renegotiated before sanctions were removed from the Islamic Republic of Iran under the nuclear deal between world powers and the United States under the Obama Administration.
Iran and Russia had previously begun negotiating a deal for the system in 2007, the deal then frozen in 2010 due to sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.
Russia began delivering the systems’ parts in April of 2016, Iran receiving the missile system in entirety in July. It claimed it would be “fully operational by the end of 2016, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stating during a showcase of the system in Tehran on its national “Army Day” that the “Iranian Army is the army of Islam, Islamic system and the whole Iranian nation. This army defends our establishment, homeland, laws, prestige, and national interests… If we can now proudly speak of our country’s security in such an insecure and unstable region, it is all due to having a mighty army, powerful Revolutionary Guards…”
Just one month later, Iran deployed the S-300 missile defense system around its underground nuclear facility Fordo outside of Tehran. There was video footage of the system at the underground nuclear site shown on Iranian state media, followed by a televised speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali. He claimed the system’s deployment is for “defensive” purposes and criticized the United States’ opposition to Iran’s acquiring the weapon, stating, “Continued opposition and hype on the S-300 or the Fordo site are examples of the viciousness of the enemy. The S-300 air defense system is a defensive instrument, not offensive, but the Americans did their best for Iran not to get hold of it.” Esmaili also stated at the time that the deployment was “Our main priority is to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities under any circumstances.”