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Iran working on domestic missile defense

July 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM

TEHRAN, July 8 (UPI) -- Iran aims to have a domestic missile defense system up and running in time for national military drills planned for later this year, a commander said.

Iran is planning to hold an annual military exercise before the end of the year. They will be the first under President-elect Hassan Rouhani, who takes office in August.

Iranian air force Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili said the military was working to develop an indigenous air defense system in time for the national drills, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reported.

He said Monday he was operating according to the orders of Supreme leader Ali Khameni, who made mobile defense strategies a national security priority.

Iran filed a lawsuit against Russia in an international court of arbitration related to a scrapped 2010 deal for the delivery of the S-300 missile defense system.

The Russian government in June said it was offering an S-300 variant in exchange to avoid a $4 billion lawsuit.

Washington is pursuing its own missile defense options in Eastern Europe to contain Iran. The Russian government said it was concerned those plans would upset the regional balance of power.

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