Don’t fret over Iran’s missiles, Rouhani tells enemies

March 7, 2018 - 19:42

TEHRAN – No country should be concerned about Tehran’s defense and missile program as the military might of the Islamic Republic poses no threats to other nations, Iran’s president says.

Speaking in a cabinet session on Wednesday, Hassan Rouhani said, “We don’t strengthen our military power to attack other countries,” Mehr reported.

The comments came as calls by the U.S. and some European countries for negotiations over Iran’s missile program have intensified.

Last week, France’s foreign minister said he believed Iran needed to address Europe’s demands over its ballistic missile program or risk new sanctions.

“There are ballistic programs of missiles that can reach several thousand kilometers which are not compatible with UN Security Council resolutions and exceed the sole need of defending Iran’s borders,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

“If not tackled head on, this country risks new sanctions,” he threatened.

Le Drian’s remarks provoked a storm of condemnations and protests from top Iranian officials and military commanders who said they would not allow anyone to interfere in Iran’s affairs.

“Those who have waged wars and brought chaos and conflict to the region in the past seventy years have no right to talk about the threat of Iran,” Rouhani said.

“Iran is not a threat to anyone. Iran is [the pillar of] stability and security for the entire region, but of course, it will defend its rights [when needed],” the president asserted.

He emphasized that the Islamic Republic’s power will always be in service of strengthening those countries in need.

“When other countries waged war against one another, we welcomed [refugees] of both countries. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, we welcomed Kuwaitis in the middle parts of the country, and welcomed Iraqis in the west. The two sides sought refuge in Iran, and we helped and welcomed both.”

The Islamic Republic has never sought to exert pressure or carry out military aggression against any country, the president said, adding that the history of Iran proves that the Iranian nation has never oppressed other nations nor taken their lands.

“Not only have we never displaced other peoples, but we have welcomed refugees with open arms,” he stated.

“Everyone should know that we are not concerned about the progress of other countries,” Rouhani said. “Our region will flourish only when we all move forward together.”

The president further stressed that the economic, cultural, political, social and particularly the military power of the Islamic Republic will never be used against other countries.

“Our weapons are for peace, boosting stability and security, and for discouraging others from invading our country,” he said.

“If we were seeking hegemony, we had many opportunities to go about it, but we never took any advantage of those situations,” Rouhani maintained.