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Iran General Claims Progress On New Air Defense System

General Farzad Esmaili, commander of Iran's air defense forces
The commander of Iran's air defense forces has said that Iran has completed about 30 percent of a new missile defense system.

Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on September 3 that he expects the Bavar-373 system to be completed by the end of next year.

He described the system as "more advanced" than Soviet-era S-300 surface-to-air missiles, saying they are better at "detecting, identifying and destroying targets."

The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles.

But Russia refuses to sell S-300s to Tehran, saying sales would violate UN sanctions. Iran is under mounting pressure from Israel and Western powers over its nuclear program.

Esmaili says the greatest threat against Iran is air strikes.

He said there would be tests of the new system by early November.

Based on reporting by Reuters and ISNA