TABRIZ, Iran, July 2 (UPI) -- An Iranian MiG-29 rejoined the military air fleet after renovations and upgrades by aircraft engineers, Iranian military officials said.
Iranian pilots tested the renovated MiG-29 at an airbase in the northwest Iranian city of Tabriz where it sat idled for several years.
Brig. Gen. Hassan Shah-Safi, an Iranian air force commander, told the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network that the upgrades were made domestically.
"All the stages of the fighter's repair and modernization program were conducted by Iranian engineers," he said.
The general added that his country has gained ground in obtaining the spare aircraft parts needed to upgrade the Iranian fighter fleet.
Washington has moved to block Iranian access to spare aircraft parts out of fear they could be used for military gain. An Iranian national was charged in U.S. courts in January for violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
The defendant, Omid Khalili, told the court he was working with the Iranian government to obtain parts used in military aircraft in Iran.
The U.S. Justice Department said the parts were replacements for parts used in military aircraft sold by the United States to Iran before diplomatic ties were severed in 1979.