IRGC doubles missile activities despite US pressure: Commander
A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says Iran has stepped up boosting its missile capabilities since the US asked to curb them.
“We doubled our activities and the American demands from Iran had an opposite result,” Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh was quoted saying on the Basij Press website.
“Today, the enemies are bringing up the issue of missile-related sanctions and expecting us to back down. But, the IRGC’s reaction to this American demand will be aggressive,” he said.
Hajizadeh said the US has not dropped its hostile policies toward the Islamic Republic despite a nuclear deal which went into force earlier this month.
“Has the enemy abandoned its intentions for hostile moves? Does the (Islamic) Revolution have no problem anymore? That’s not the case.
“Our enemies, especially America, are still saying, ‘all options are on the table.’
“They are after certain goals in a number of fields, including the military and war, targeting the country’s security, culture and economy because they have a problem with the essence of the establishment and their problem is not nuclear,” he said.
The US adopted new sanctions against Iran over the country’s missile program, a day after the nuclear agreement went into effect, prompting Iranian officials to denounce them as “illegal.”
Hajizadeh said, “The Leader (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) had said before that ‘our problems with the Americans are not nuclear and that they will go after missile and other issues.’ Today, we see his predictions were right.”
The US has imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran under consecutive American administrations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the absence of diplomatic relations.
Hajizadeh said, “We have never trusted America and will never do so. Neither will we let a forging of relations with America.”
“As our late Imam (Khomeini) said the relationship between Iran and America is the relation between the lamb and the wolf. We will never allow such a connection.”
Officials say none of Iran’s missiles has been designed to carry nuclear warheads, and thus their production and tests do not violate UN Resolution 2231 which bans development of such projectiles.
Iran says its military might poses no threat to other countries and that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.