Iran's parliament has questioned the country's foreign minister about Russia's cancellation of a deal to sell Tehran S-300 air defense missile systems.
Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell the sophisticated systems that would have dramatically boosted Iran's ability to defend against airstrikes. Israel and the United States objected to the deal.
Russia refused to deliver the missiles to Iran last year, claiming that new U.N. sanctions prevent Moscow from supplying them to Iran.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi answered lawmakers' questions Sunday about Moscow's scrapping of the deal.
Lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian said Iran's "weak diplomacy" is to blame for the cancellation.
The news comes after Iran’s announcement in late September that it had completed the production of a self-made version of the Russian S-300 missile, over a year after Moscow cancelled a delivery of the sophisticated system to Tehran to comply with United Nations sanctions.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev banned the delivery of the high-precision S-300 air defense system to Iran in September of 2010, scuttling a tentative deal in gestation for years, saying it would violate expanded UN sanctions imposed in June over Iran's defiance of demands to curb its nuclear program.
Iranian officials said after Russia scrapped the sale that Tehran had decided to build its own model of the S-300.
"Buying S-300 missiles from the Russia was on the agenda to meet some of the security needs of our country," said Mansourian. "But under the pretext of the (UN Security Council) resolution and due to American and Zionist pressure, Russia refused to deliver the defensive system."
On Friday, however, Iranian officials indicated that they have completed the production and deployment of a domestic version of the 3-00, with Iranian army official Brigadier General Alireza Sabah saying that missile system has “proved once again that the country's enemies have been left disappointed in their desperate attempts to impose sanctions on Iran.”
“The command and control center of this system is completely digital, sophisticated, and equipped with a simulator” and can receive signals, while functioning as part of a unified network of air defense to identify and track targets, Sabahifard said.
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