Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the Islamic Republic is currently one of the world’s topmost missile powers despite being subject to severe sanctions during the past 40 years.
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“Today, Iran is among the world’s topmost powers in building missiles, radars, armored vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),” the Iranian defense minister said in an exclusive interview with IRNA on Sunday, emphasizing that Iran's defense power is meant to send the message of peace and friendship to other nations.
"Iran has managed to attain a very desirable and acceptable performance in the field of defensive products and the Defense Ministry has become self-sufficient in defense industry despite tough sanctions [imposed] by the [global] arrogant system in 40 years," he added.
The Iranian defense chief further said the inauguration of the production line of the Kowsar fighter jet at Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company in Isfahan Province last month proved that sanctions are ineffective.
On November 3, Iran launched the mass production of the fourth-generation all-indigenous interceptor jet, Kowsar, in a major step toward the renovation of its Air Force.
The aircraft, which has been designed to provide logistical support for ground operations, boasts advanced maneuvering capability and can be fitted with various projectiles.
It enjoys integrated design, an avionic and fire control system linked with digital military data network, a ballistic calculations computer system, head-up display (HUD), which focuses visual data in front of the pilot’s sight, a multi-purpose radar, and an independent radio navigation system.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian defense minister said the country's Armed Forces currently enjoy high deterrent power and full defensive preparedness.
He noted that the Iranian Defense Ministry's strategy is to update defensive equipment used by the Armed Forces by turning to domestic capacities and refraining from relying on other countries.
Over the past years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing military equipment and hardware despite sanctions and economic pressures on the country.
The Islamic Republic maintains that its military power poses no threat to other countries and is merely attentive to its military doctrine of deterrence.
Despite tough and cruel sanctions imposed by the United States against the Islamic Republic, Iran held the 9th Iran Airshow on the southern island of Kish in the Persian Gulf late in November.
According to the airshow secretary, Bijan Bonakdar, 105 Iranian and 10 foreign companies participated in the four-day event.
He said the participants are showcasing their latest achievements in the sectors of aviation and aerospace at a time when the US is exerting mounting pressure on other countries to abide by its policies on Iran.
Many experts believe that holding of the 9th Iran Airshow at a time that the administration of US President Donald Trump has reinstated unilateral sanctions against Iran is a clear sign that the sanctions have failed to have any impact on the Islamic Republic's progress in different fields, nor on its relations with other countries.