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Monday, April 4, 2016

Iranian military official warns US: Stay away from Iran's red lines

Iranian deputy chief of staff says Islamic Republic will not curtail its missile program no matter what.

Iran warned the US on Monday that any attempt to encroach on the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program would constitute the crossing of a "red line."

"The US calculations about the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation are fully incorrect," Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff Brig-Gen Maassoud Jazzayeri was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying.

"The White House should know that defense capacities and missile power, specially at the present juncture where plots and threats are galore, is among the Iranian nation's red lines and a backup for the country's national security and we don’t allow anyone to violate it," Jazzayeri said.


Three months ago, Washington imposed sanctions against businesses and individuals linked to Iran's missile program over a test of the medium-range Emad missile carried out in October 2015.

The IRGC, a powerful force that reports directly to the supreme leader, is deeply suspicious of the United States and its allies. It maintains dozens of short and medium-range ballistic missiles, the largest stock in the Middle East.

Washington fears those missiles could be used to carry a nuclear warhead at some point in the future, even after Iran implemented a nuclear deal with world powers in January that imposes strict limits and checks on its disputed nuclear program.

Iran's missile program is subject to UN Security Council resolution 2231 that calls on the Islamic Republic not to develop missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Iran says its missiles are solely a conventional deterrent.


Reuters contributed to this report.