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Iran to do utmost to strengthen defense forces
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21:52, December 24, 2008

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Iran's Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said Wednesday that Iran would do its best to strengthen the country's defense forces, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"Iran will do so by building the defense systems or buying them from other countries," Mohammad-Najjar told reporters.

Asked whether Iran has bought S-300 air defense missile system from Russia, he answered, "We will talk about it whenever it deems necessary."

He stressed that Iran enjoys good relations with the neighboring states, especially with Russia, adding that "Despite enemies' hostile propaganda against Iran to damage the country's ties with the regional states, Iran will not be deceived."

Iranian lawmaker Ismael Kowsari on Sunday claimed that "the deal (over the S-300 air defense missile system with Russia) had already been finalized with Moscow."

However, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi denied on Monday that there was an agreement with Russia over missile delivery.

Earlier this month, Iran's Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi announced that Iran had developed new air-to-air missile and heat-seeking radar-evading aircraft.

Iran's naval forces, in a maneuver in the sea of Oman, test-fired a medium-range surface-to-surface Nasr 2 (Victory 2) missile "successfully which was fired from a warship and hit a target at a distance of 30 km," according to state TV IRIB website on Dec. 7.

In November, Iran test-fired a new generation of surface-to-surface missile, Sejjil, which was claimed to have a range of about 2,000 km.

The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt nuclear program.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, but Iran has denied the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Source: Xinhua

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