The Iranian president made the remarks in a ceremony marking the National Day of Defense Industry. The event also featured the unveiling of the latest achievements in the defense sector, including the first homegrown fighter/trainer jet ‘Kosar’ which underwent its successful flight-tests today in the presence of President Rouhani.
“The past 40 years is a testament to the fact that we have not attacked any country, and if we really wanted to, we had some exceptional military-wise opportunities to take advantage of, but we didn’t do such a thing,” said President Rouhani, noting the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the unstable state of Iran’s northern borders, or Iraq’s weakened state during Saddam’s attack on Kuwait.
“When Saddam attacked Kuwait and Iraq was almost under a global blockade, it was a critical situation that we could apparently use to our advantage and take down Iraq, but we let the opportunity go,” said Rouhani, stressing that Iran’s military strategy is not offensive, even when faced with a country that had previously waged an eight-year war against Iran.
He went on to add, “Iranians have always sought to have peaceful coexistence and interaction with other countries. In the recent years that terrorism had spread through the region, although it was not apparently a threat to Iran, but the Islamic Republic voluntarily rushed to assist the people of the region and had a major role in ridding the region of terrorists’ presence.”
We are ready not for war, but for creating and preserving lasting peace, Rouhani stressed, adding that lack of preparedness means welcoming war; “if we fail to boost our deterrence, it’s as good as giving the enemies the green light to invade our country,” he added.
“We can be on friendly terms with many countries and boost our defense industry alongside it,” said Rouhani, adding “this way, the situation will be even more competitive and we can further increase the volume of our production, because alone, our capabilities are limited, but together, we can get better results.”
Rouhani then maintained that the reason that holds US back from launching a military attack against Iran is because of the Islamic Republic’s defense capabilities. “They know that attacking Iran would have great consequences for the US. Because the current American administration is unreliable, the US Congress, which is always hostile toward Iran, passes a law that bans Trump from declaring a war on Iran,” the president added.
Rouhani further stressed that Iran’s unity is what concerns the enemies the most.