Reuters, Associated Press and Chris Dyer from MailOnline – Aug 22, 2019
- President Hassan Rouhani attended an unveiling of the Bavar-373 rocket system
- Iranian media described system as a competitor to the Russian S-300 missiles
- Rouhani said ‘talks are useless’ as tensions between Tehran and the West rise
- Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif said Iran won’t start war but will defend itself
- Bavar-373 can recognise up to 100 targets at a same time and use six weapons
Iran today unveiled what it described as a domestically built long-range mobile surface-to-air missile system and declared ‘talks are useless’.
State television showed President Hassan Rouhani attending the ceremony for the Bavar-373 system, which Iranian media described as a competitor to the Russian S-300 missile system.
At the unveiling of the rocket system, Rouhani said ‘talks are useless’ as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers crumbles further.
The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and United States after the Islamic Republic shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said today that Iran will not start a war in the Gulf, but will defend itself.
He said during a visit at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs: ‘Will there be a war in the … Gulf? I can tell you that we will not start the war…but we will defend ourselves.’
During the ceremony today Rouhani said that ‘now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic’.
He added: ‘When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: ”Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people. Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air”.’
The system’s unveiling came on Iran’s National Defence Industry Day.
The Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system that he described as an improvement to the Russian S-300.
It is reportedly able to recognise up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons.
Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international sanctions and embargoes that have barred it from importing many weapons.
Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, though concerns about its long-range ballistic missile programme contributed to Washington last year leaving the pact that Iran sealed with world powers in 2015 to rein in its nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.