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.
On March 8, Iran fired another ballistic missile called Qiam from silo-based launchers in different locations across the country.
“Instead of measures that only lead to instability in the region and the world, the US government needs to [respond to] serious security demands in western Asia, including nuclear disarmament of the Zionist regime, end crimes and warmongering by the US allies in Syria and Yemen, and engage in a sincere campaign against Daesh and [other] Takfiri terrorist groups,” Jaberi Ansari said.
He added that the Iranian missile program does not violate the JCPOA and is not in breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – last year and a Security Council Resolution, which endorsed the JCPOA.
After Iran and the P5+1 group started to implement the JCPOA on January 16, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were lifted. Iran, in return, has put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015, calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
By Press TV