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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Iran: Nothing will stop our missile program

Missiles at a Revolutionary Guards parade in Tehran (archive)
Missiles at a Revolutionary Guards parade in Tehran (archive)
Reuters


Iran still intends to pursue its ballistic missile program, despite a United Nations resolution and a US blacklist against companies involved, Reuters reports.

"Even if they build a wall around Iran, our missile program will not stop," Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran's Tasnim news. "They are trying to frighten our officials with sanctions and invasion. This fear is our biggest threat." General Hajizadeh is in charge of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace branch.

While the project does not violate last year's nuclear deal, UN Security Council Resolution 2231 forbids the Islamic Republic from "any activity" connected with ballistic missiles that could be used for nuclear weapons.

The US Treasury Department has also been trying to discourage Iran from developing new missiles by sanctioning Iranian companies involved in the program. It blocked 11 companies in response to a missile test last October and another two following this month's launches.

The Revolutionary Guards hold the largest cache of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in the Middle East, though Iranian authorities claim that the weapons are only for defensive use.

"We will pursue any measure to boost our defense might and this is a strategic policy," President Hassan Rouhani told Press TV. "But at the same time we should remain vigilant so that Iran's enemies do not find any excuse to take advantage of the situation."