By Iran Review
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has issued an order calling on the country’s Defense Ministry to expedite efforts for boosting the country’s missile power as reports emerge of US plans for imposing fresh sanctions on Tehran over the issue.
In a decree to Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, Rouhani ordered an acceleration in Iran’s program for production of “various types of missile” needed to improve the country’s defense capabilities.
Rouhani, in his decree to Dehqan, called the purported plan by the White House a measure in line with hostile US policies to “illegally interfere in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s programs for boosting the defense power.”
“In line with the [country’s] ratified defense policies, it is necessary that the program for the production of various types of missiles needed for Iranian Armed Forces continue with more speed and seriousness,” Rouhani said.
The Iranian president also warned that in case the US repeats such “wrong and interventionist” measures, the Iranian Defense Ministry must develop a new plan for expanding the country’s missile capabilities.
Rouhani said that Iran’s missile power, which he described as a means to protect the country’s sovereignty and a major deterrence against terrorism in the Middle East and the world, has never been up for negotiations, including in the nuclear talks with the P5+1 group – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – which resulted in the JCPOA in Austria on July 14.
He once again rejected claims that Iran is planning to produce missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, saying that Iran will continue to produce and test ballistic missiles as a “conventional and important” instrument for defending the country.
“It is clear that Iran’s missile program has never been part of the JCPOA, as already acknowledged by US officials,” said Rouhani, stressing that “nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine; therefore, Iran’s ballistic missiles have not been designed to carry nuclear warheads.”
The Iranian chief executive further said the Islamic Republic would not accept any restrictions on its legitimate right to promote its defense might.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has also warned the US against imposing any fresh sanctions on international companies and individuals over the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program, saying Tehran will respond to such meddlesome measures.
“Such measures are unilateral, arbitrary and illegal and the Islamic Republic of Iran has already served notice to the US government in this regard,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, said.
“The Islamic Republic will respond to any meddlesome action against its defense program by strengthening its defense might,” he said.
Jaberi Ansari reiterated that Iran’s missile program is solely for defense purposes and in line with national security interests.
“No measure can deny the Islamic Republic of Iran its legitimate and legal rights to boost its defense might and national security,” he said.
Iran has already said that any fresh sanctions on the country would be a flagrant violation of the JCPOA, whose implementation is expected in January.