DUBAI - Iran has built about 30 percent of a missile defense system it is developing in place of the Russian S-300 system Moscow refused to sell it, and hopes to complete the system by next year, a senior military official said on Monday.

Farzad Esmaili, commander of the army's air defense force, also reiterated that Iran will hold a large-scale air defense exercise in the next two months covering the whole country, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Iran, under mounting pressure from Israel and Western powers over its controversial nuclear program, has unveiled upgrades to weapons systems and held several military exercises this year to demonstrate its ability to defend itself.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger