Iranian officials have boasted of their homegrown arms industry in recent days, including claims that they develop their own missiles and export weapons to more than 50 countries.
Najjar: Iran produces and exports world-class advanced systems for land, sea and air forces, as well as for use in outer space.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said, "Our missile and technical capabilities completely depend on Iranian scientific know-how." He further stated that Tehran is developing its defense capabilities within the framework of international norms.
Qashqavi emphatically claimed that reports regarding Russian missile sales to the Islamic Republic are incorrect. However, his statement contradicts that of Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar from December of last year that a sophisticated missile-based air defense system "will be delivered to Iran on the basis of a contract signed with Russia in the past." Russia has been evasive in confirming or denying the sale.
Israeli officials believe that the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system will be delivered to Iran before 2009, possibly even this month.
If Iranian officials are correct, then not only is Iran not importing missiles from Russia, but it is a leading weapons exporter. On Friday, Defense Minister Najjar reiterated a claim he has made in the past to the effect that Iran exports weapons systems to more than fifty nations worldwide. Najjar made the comments during a gathering for Muslim prayers in the city of Aroumia.
According to Najjar, Iran produces and exports world-class advanced systems for land, sea and air forces, as well as for use in outer space. Iran, he continued, is therefore well prepared to stave off and defeat any external threat with its domestically produced arsenal. Najjar added that his country has no intention of attacking any other state.
The information known to the public, Najjar boasted, represents only 80% of Iran's true capabilities.