Iran may expand missile plan amid US threat to impose fresh sanctions

(From agencies)

Iranian officials are considering to expand Tehran’s missile capabilities after the United States threatened to impose fresh sanctions even amid steps to lift measures against Iran under a landmark nuclear deal, Fars News Agency said.

A military truck during a parade in Tehran in this file photo

A military truck during a parade in Tehran

Major General Mohsen Rezayee, the secretary of Iran’s highly renowned vetting body, the Expediency Council, asked Iran’s President Rouhani to reciprocate the United States’ hostile policies with offensive moves and order the Defense Ministry to boost the range of Iran-made missiles to 5,000 km.

In his letter to the president, Rezayee reminded that when the US took hostile measures against Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran, in response, took an offensive move and increased the number of centrifuges to 20,000, the US was forced to come to the negotiating table and recognize Iran’s nuclear enrichment rights.

“I hope the range of Iran’s missiles will exceed 5,000 kilometers with your support soon,” he added, saying that such a move would force the US to put an end to its meddling policies with regard to Iran’s defense program.

The senior Iranian official reiterated that the US would feel sorry and come to realize its measures are futile when Iran increases the range of its missiles to 5,000km to bring US targets as remote as Diego Garcia within its scope.

Diego Garcia was the US air base which was involved in the attack on Iran in Tabas incident in the early years after the Islamic Revolution more than three decades ago.

The Revolutionary Guards’ second-in-command, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said that as long as the US supports Israel, Iran will expand its missile capabilities, Reuters reports.

“We don’t have enough space to store our missiles. All our depots and underground facilities are full,” he said in Friday Prayers in Tehran.

Defence Minister Hossein Dehqan said Iran would boost its missile program and had never agreed to restrictions on it.

“Iran’s missile capabilities have never been the subject of negotiations with the Americans and will never be,” he was quoted as saying by Press TV, an Iranian state channel.

On Thursday, President Rouhani ordered Dehqan to enhance and accelerate development of the country’s missile capability in response to US’ “hostile policies and illegal and illegitimate meddling against Iran’s right to develop its defensive power.”

“As the United States seems to plan to include the names of new individuals and firms in its previous list of cruel sanctions ….., the program for the production of the Armed Forces’ needed missiles is required to continue more speedily and seriously,” Rouhani’s written order to the defense minister read.

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