Iran Reportedly Deploys Anti-aircraft Missiles at Key Nuclear Facility

Iranian news agency Fars says S-300 defense systems stationed in Fordo uranium enrichment facility.

Farshid Motahar
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Farshid Motahar

DPA - Iran has placed Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missiles at one of its nuclear facilities, the Iranian news agency Fars reported Sunday.

According to Fars, the S-300 missiles were delivered by Iran's Revolutionary Guards to the Fordo uranium enrichment facility, located south of the capital Tehran. The Russian missile systems will soon also be used to defend the country's other nuclear facilities, Fars said.

Citing IRIB state television, AFP quoted a top Iranian general as saying that protecting the country's nuclear facilities was paramount "in all circumstances... Today, Iran's sky is one of the most secure in the region," General Farzad Esmaili, the commander of Iran's air defenses, reportedly told IRIB.

Earlier Sunday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said that "Continued opposition and hype on the S-300 or the Fordo site are examples of the viciousness of the enemy The S-300 system is a defense system not an assault one, but the Americans did their best for Iran not to get hold of it."

Russia began delivering the long-range surface-to-air S-300 missiles to Iran in April, and by the end of this year the contract worth $828 million is expected to be fulfilled.

Russia and Iran initially signed a contract to deliver several S-300 missile systems in 2007, but Moscow nixed the deal because of UN sanctions against supplying weapons to the Islamic republic.

When that contract was signed, experts assumed that the missiles would primarily be used by Iran to defend its nuclear facilities for possible attacks, including by Israel.

Last year, Iran reached an international agreement on regulating its nuclear program to remove sanctions, and Russian President Vladimir Putin then signed a decree to allow his country to sell weapons to Iran.

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