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Iran Releases Images of New Missile Defense System

The Times of Israel reports: Iran released images of its first domestically built long-range missile defense system on Sunday, a project started when the country was under international sanctions.

Images released on multiple state news agencies showed President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan standing in front of the new Bavar 373 missile defense system.

The system was designed to intercept cruise missiles, drones, combat aircraft and ballistic missiles, according to earlier statements by Dehghan.

It was intended to match the Russian S-300 system, the delivery of which was suspended in 2010 due to sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We did not intend to make an Iranian version of the S-300 — we wanted to build an Iranian system, and we built it,” Dehghan told the IRNA news agency on Saturday.

Rouhani said in a televised speech that Iran’s military budget had more than doubled compared with last year.

“If we are able to discuss with world powers around the negotiating table, it is because of our national strength, because of our national unity,” he said.

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