Iran president orders acceleration of missile program

January 2, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has ordered Hossein Dehqan, the defense minister, to speed up the country’s missile program as the U.S. continues adopting “hostile” and “illegal” policies.

The decree came as the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the U.S. is preparing for imposing new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program.

“Apparently, the U.S. government, in continuation with adopting hostile policies and illegal and illegitimate interfering, considers taking action in adding new people and institutions to the list of the former cruel sanctions; it is essential to speed up the building of missile program within the framework of defense policies,” Rouhani said in his decree.

Iran’s defense capabilities pose no threat and bring stability and security to the Middle East region, he added.

He said that nuclear weapon has no room in Iran’s defense doctrine.

Iran’s ballistic missiles are not built to carry nuclear warhead, he added.

He also said that Iran’s missile program is not a part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which was finalized between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in Vienna on July 14.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the White House has delayed its plan to impose new financial sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, according to U.S. officials.

U.S. officials offered no definitive timeline for when the sanctions would be imposed after the decision was made Wednesday to delay them.

In response to the President Rouhani’s decree, Dehqan wrote a letter on Friday and said that the country’s missile capability will be developed powerfully within the framework of Iran’s defense policies.

“Iran’s defense capability guarantees the regional stability and security,” he said.

He also said that Iran’s missile capability has not been and will never be negotiated.

-----Missile test has not violated JCPOA: official

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has said that missile test does not violate the JCPOA.

“The nuclear talks and the JCPOA do not mean an end to the U.S. hostilities against Iran,” he said in a televised interview aired on Thursday.

Hossein Jaber Ansari, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Thursday that the U.S. probable action in imposing new sanctions is “illegal” and “unilateral”.

He said that Iran’s missile capability has nothing to do with the JCPOA and added that no action can deprive Iran of its “legitimate and legal rights” to boost its defense power.

“Iran will respond to any interference against its defense programs by the U.S. through boosting its defense power,” he said.

------Iran will respond to violation of JCPOA: Velayati

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said on Thursday that Iran will respond to any violation of the JCPOA by the U.S.

According to the JCPOA, no sides in the 5+1 group should increase economic pressure against Iran, he added.

-----Rezaei thanks Rouhani for swift follow-up to sanctions mention

A top official and former IRGC commander has thanked President Hassan Rouhani for his swift follow-up order to reports of U.S. sanctions resumption where he obliged the Defense Ministry to heat up Iran’s missile program.

It is hoped that with your support, the range of Iran’s missiles surpasses 5,000 kilometers in near future, said Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei in an open letter to Rouhani.

Missiles with a 5,000-kilometer range would be able to threaten the U.S. air base in Diego Garcia which was used for Operation Eagle Claw, the former commander stated.

Diego Garcia, a small, strategically located, isolated island in the Indian Ocean is home to Camp Justice, a United States military base.