Iran has successfully test-fired a sophisticated, Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday. The drill took place during a recent military exercise named Damvand, and was attended by senior military commanders and officials according to Tasnim.
IRNA said the test targeted various flying objects including missiles. With a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) the S-300 is capable of simultaneously tracking and striking multiple targets, according to AP. Iran state TV aired footage of the missiles launching from the back of trucks. It said the test was carried out in Iran's central desert.
— Press TV (@PressTV) March 4, 2017
As we reported at the time, Russia delivered the S-300 system to Iran in August 2016, nearly 10 years after the initial contract had been signed, at which point Iran demonstrated the deployment at its Fordow nuclear facility.
— Mashregh News Agency (@MashreghNews) August 28, 2016
Iran signed the $800 million contract to buy the S-300 missile system in 2007, but Russia had suspended delivery three years later because of strong objections from the United States and Israel.
The restriction was lifted in 2016 after Obama's landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers went into practice under which Iran limited its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions. The deal allowed Russia and Iran to renegotiate the terms of the almost decade-old contract, resolving a dispute over its suspension. Despite protests from neighboring nations, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia, Iran has insisted that its acquisition of advanced weapons systems like the S-300 is necessary to protect itself from potential military aggression.