Iran deploys S-300 air defense system around nuclear site

Apparently fearing an attack, Iran has begun deploying the Russian-made S-300 air defense system around its underground Fordo nuclear facility.

Video footage posted late Sunday by Iranian state TV showed trucks with missile launchers arriving at the Fordo nuclear facility.

The large, underground facility, built at a depth of 90 meters (300 feet) underneath a mountain, is located some 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital, Tehran. The site was exposed by Western nations in 2009.

Russia began delivering the missile defense system to Iran earlier this year under a contract signed in 2007. The delivery was postponed due to international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, which were lifted this year as part of the nuclear deal with the P5+1 world powers.

“The S-300 air defense system is a defensive instrument, not offensive,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday.

Critics of Iran’s nuclear program believe Fordo is further proof that Tehran intends to secretly develop nuclear weapons. Iran continues to deny that it seeks to develop nuclear arms, and says the missile defenses placed around the site are intended to protect it from US or Israeli airstrikes.

Iran stopped nuclear enrichment at Fordo under the landmark nuclear agreement and claims that the facility is now used only for research and the production of medical isotopes.

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By: World Israel News Staff. With files from AP.