Iran reiterates missile program is non-negotiable

March 3, 2019

TEHRAN - Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, reiterated Iran’s long-held position on Sunday, saying Tehran decides about its missile program based on its interests and the issue is “non-negotiable”.

“We take decision about range, precision, speed and destruction power of our missiles based on our interests and threats and this process is not negotiable,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference held at the National Library of Iran.

Iran has repeatedly said that its missile program is deterrent and defensive.

Shamkhani said in January that it is not part of Iran’s defense doctrine to extend the range of its missiles from the current 2000 kilometers.

Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said in June 2018 that the range of Iranian missiles is 2000 kilometers and the country does not need to extend it.

‘Iran is in Syria upon Damascus request’

Shamkhani also said that Iran’s military presence in Syria is upon a request by Damascus to provide the country with advisory help against militants.

“We will stay in Syria as long as the Syrian government wants us to stay,” the security chief added.

‘We will take revenge for Zahedan-Khash attack’

Shamkhani also said that Iran take revenge for the terrorist Zahedan-Khash attack.

On February 13, a car laden with explosives hit a bus of soldiers on Zahedan-Khash road in the border province of Sistan-Balouchestan killing 27 and injuring the remaining 13.

Shamkhani said, “The Pakistani government is obligated to guard security at borders and prevent the entrance of anti-revolution forces [to Iran]. We definitely do what is essential to protect border areas.”

‘Four years of crimes against Yemen have proven unsuccessful’

During his remarks, Shamkhani said that the U.S. policies are on the wane.

He said that the regional front - which consists of Iran, Russia, Syria and Hezbollah - which seeks stability has gained upper hand over the coalition which seeks instability and this shows that the U.S. policies are on the wane.

The top security official also said four years of unprecedented attacks against Yemen have ended in failure. 

“The U.S., Saudi Arabia, the Zionist regime of Israel and the European countries’ crimes, brutality and bombardment to occupy Yemen and capture the people of the country have been unsuccessful.”

The Saudi-UAE coalition, which receives arms and intelligence from the West, invaded Yemen in March 2015 to restore the government of Mansour al-Hadi who had been toppled by the Ansarullah movement months earlier.

However, the coalition has failed to achieve the least victory against the resistance movement.

Shamkhani warns of uprising by ‘humiliated citizens’ 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Shamkhani said U.S. allies in the Middle East risk an uprising by their “humiliated citizens” if they continue to rely on Washington.

“Trump and even his underlings ridicule and humiliate Saudi Arabia and the (United Arab) Emirates day and night, saying that you’re nothing without us and cannot last a day without America’s support,” Shamkhani noted.

Back in October, Trump said Saudi Arabia and its 83-year-old King Salman “might not be there for two weeks” without U.S. military support. The comments were mostly shrugged off by Riyadh.

“Our prediction about America’s allies in the region is that if they continue the policy of relying on Islam’s enemies, they will face the uprising of their humiliated citizens,” said Shamkhani.

Iran’s relations with its Persian Gulf neighbors have soured in recent years and tensions escalated last month when the Islamic Republic accused Riyadh and Abu Dhabi of being complicit in a suicide bombing that killed 27 Iranian troops.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps blasted the “traitorous governments of Saudi Arabia and (the) Emirates” and said Iran will no longer tolerate their “hidden support for anti-Islam thugs and Takfiri groups.”

The February 13 bombing targeted a busload of Guards in the volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan and was claimed by Jaish al-Adl, a Pakistan-based terrorist group.

NA/SP/

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