TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is planned to stage a missile maneuver in the next two weeks, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said.
The senior Iranian officer announced on Thursday that the missile drill will take place in the first half of the Iranian month of Esfand (February 20 – March 19).
Missile maneuvers are aimed at maintaining the preparedness of the Iranian Armed Forces and enhancement of the country’s missile industry.
Iranian officials have already made it clear that the country’s military program, including the routine exercises and test of new missiles, will not be hampered by anything, including a nuclear deal with the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Elsewhere in his comments, Major General Firouzabadi pointed to a deal with Russia on the purchase of S-300 air defense missile systems, saying, “The contract for delivery of the system has been signed, but the process of delivery and shipment will be announced (later).”
While previous media reports had suggested that the first consignment of S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems were to be delivered to Iran on February 18, a high-ranking representative of the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS on Wednesday that the beginning of deliveries cannot take place “since the Iranian side has not paid the price enshrined in the contract as of February 16.”
Under the previous contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 defense system batteries.
But the contract, worth more than $800 million, was revoked after then-President Dmitry Medvedev banned the supply of those systems to Tehran in 2010.
Later, Iran lodged a $4 billion lawsuit at an international court in Geneva against Russia’s arms export agency.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided in April to lift the ban on the S-300 missile system delivery to Iran.