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Iran's largest-ever war games end

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Iran's nationwide aerial drills wrap-up
  • The S-200 long-range missile system launched on Saturday reached a distance of over 100 km
  • Iran has said that the missile system was not covered by the sanctions
RELATED TOPICS
  • Iran

(CNN) -- A series of air defense drills called the "largest-ever" in Iranian history ended on Saturday.

Tehran test-fired a S-200 rocket on the final day of the five-day war games code-named "Defenders of Velayat Skies."

According to a top Iranian military official, the domestically-designed S-200 air defense system has the same capabilities as the Russian-made S-300 system.

"We have developed the system by upgrading systems like S-200 and we have tested it successfully using all our potential and experience in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Army and the Defense Ministry," Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian told Press TV.

Air defense units from Iran's armed forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps took part in the air maneuvers.

Iranian state media reports that defense units managed to bring down dozens of a mock enemy's drones by using short-range ballistic and artillery systems. Iranian state media outlets called the exercises the "largest-ever" of their kind.

Russia announced in September that it was blocking weapons sales to Iran because of U.N. Security Council sanctions that banned export of armored vehicles, military aircraft, helicopters and ships.

Because of the sanctions, Moscow canceled shipment of its S-300 antiaircraft missile system to Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday.

Medvedev prohibited the sale of S-300 systems to Iran, citing the U.N. sanctions that were imposed in June over Tehran's nuclear program.

The United States has said the nuclear program is military in nature; Tehran has insisted

that it is intended solely for peaceful energy purposes.

Iranian military officials say the drills convey a message of peace and friendship to neighboring countries and a fierce warning against enemies.

Iran has said that the missile system was not covered by the sanctions.

Iran's military maneuver kicked off on Tuesday with the aim of testing the country's air defense capabilities.

The air maneuvers were held near Iran's strategic sites to assess the performance of new air defense systems and enhance rapid response capabilities in countering potential aerial attacks.

Talks between world powers and Iran on its nuclear program are expected to resume early next month.

 
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