EghtesadOnline: Iran is ready for dialogue but cannot stop the development of its defense capabilities, especially since the enemies do not understand "logic", President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday, as a domestically built air defense system was unveiled.
"Now that the enemies do not accept logic, we have to work toward strengthening ourselves. We cannot answer force with logic," the president said in a speech marking National Defense Industry Day, his website reported.
During a ceremony in Tehran, Rouhani unveiled the Bavar-373 long-range, surface-to-air missile defense system, which he said is better than the Russian-supplied S-300 missile system.
According to Defense Minister Amir Hatami, the new system can detect 300 targets more than 300 km away, lock a target at about 250 km and destroy it at 200 km, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Persian Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June. It says the drone was over its territory, disputing the United States' claim that it was in international airspace.
Revealing the new missile defense system comes at a time of high tensions between Iran and the United States, following the drone incident and tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf that Washington has blamed on Tehran. Iran denies any involvement in the tanker attacks.
The president said Bavar-373 is almost as advanced as S-400, hailing it as a great addition to the country's missile defense network.
Rouhani said the world acknowledges the Islamic Republic's power today and the ire of the US, which is now more isolated legally and politically than ever, is rooted in Tehran's growing defense industry and influence.
He said Washington's concern and isolation was evident in statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a UN Security Council meeting on Middle East peace and security challenges on August 20.
America's top diplomat said in the meeting that "time is running short" to keep a UN arms embargo on Iran and a travel ban on Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, AP reported.
However, he faced criticism from Russia and several western allies over the US administration’s policies, particularly toward Tehran.
Rouhani said renewed and toughened sanctions following US President Donald Trump's exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have failed to make Iran surrender.
"You have chosen a wrong path and this path has proved detrimental to you, European countries, Asian nations and all your friends," he said, addressing the Americans.
On the beefed-up US military presence in the region and its intensified efforts to counter Iran, the president said, "Regional security cannot be ensured without Iran."
He said lifting the sanctions, respecting the Iranian people and accepting logic can help improve the situation and promote security and stability in the strategically important Middle East.
“Iran is ready for dialogue, resolution of misunderstandings, and friendship,” he said, adding that "peaceful coexistence will benefit all regional countries".
Rouhani, who toured an exhibition of defense achievements on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony, also expressed Iran's readiness for defense cooperation with friendly and neighboring countries, as it would "cut unnecessary expenditure".