Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said on Thursday that the Russian S-300 missile defense system is enough to defend his country and said Tehran doesn’t intend to purchase the improved S-400 systemfrom Moscow.
The S-400 anti-missile system, known to NATO as the SA-21 "Growler," is said to have a maximum range of 250 miles, and can bring down airplanes at up to 90,000 feet - more than double the height of a cruising commercial airliner.
Reports late last year said Russia deployed the advanced system to a base in Syria's Latakia, located in the western part of the country.
"We produce (defense) systems at three levels to provide the needs of the country's air defense and security and we had some deficiencies in (defending the country against the) high altitude (threats) which were removed by purchasing the S-300," General Dehqan said in a press conference on Thursday, according to Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency.
Asked if Iran seeks to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia too, he said, "We don’t need to buy another system anymore and we can meet our needs by production (of home-made defense systems)".
Russia's sale of the S-300 systems to Iran, originally agreed upon in 2007, has been repeatedly delayed due to Western pressure given that UN nuclear sanctions ban the delivery to Iran.
Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting a ban on the delivery of the S-300 systems to Iran, and explaining that his decision was motivated by Iran's drive to find a solution in talks over its nuclear program, which led to a controversial nuclear deal last July.
Since then there have been repeated reports that the delivery of the missile systems was imminent. The last report, in July, said the contract will be implemented by March of 2017.
Iran on Sunday unveiled its home-made version of the S-300 missile defense system, dubbed as Bavar 373.