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Iran to keep boosting missile might despite new US sanctions

24 March 2016 20:29


Iran says it will continue to enhance its missile might despite new US sanctions aimed at curbing its defense capabilities.

In line with a decree by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Islamic Republic will respond to any “meddlesome US measure” against its defense program by boosting the country’s missile might, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said on Thursday.

In a decree to Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan on December 31, 2015, Rouhani ordered an acceleration in Iran’s program for production of “various types of missile” needed to improve the country’s defense capabilities.

Jaberi Ansari said gone is the era of spreading Iranophobia and resorting to “false pretexts” to portray Iran as a threat following the implementation of the Iranian nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He stressed that Tehran’s defense capabilities are a key factor in restoring stability and security to the region which is currently facing a critical condition.

The Iranian missile program “is totally for peaceful purposes and no measure can strip the Islamic Republic of Iran of its legitimate and legal right to boost its defensive capabilities and [safeguard] national security,” Jaberi Ansari said.

He said that Iran’s missile program is solely for protecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as combating terrorism and extremism, emphasizing that the country’s military might serves regional and global interests.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department blacklisted two Iranian companies for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

The sanctions came after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) successfully test-fired two more ballistic missiles on March 9 as part of military drills to assess the IRGC’s capabilities. The missiles dubbed Qadr-H and Qadr-F were fired during large-scale drills, code-named Eqtedar-e-Velayat.

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