‘When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission,’ says Iranian president
Iran unveiled what it said was a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000km, capable of carrying several warheads, during commemorations for the Iran-Iraq war and days after the US president called Tehran a “corrupt dictatorship”.
Videos showed the missile, called the “Khoramshahr”, being paraded through Tehran.
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, earlier told the parade that Iran would not stop boosting its military and Iran had complied with a deal with world powers that ended its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.
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“We will increase our military power as a deterrent. We will strengthen our missile capabilities… We will not seek permission from anyone to defend our country,” he said in a speech broadcast on state television.
“All countries in the world supported the nuclear deal in the United Nations General Assembly this year… except the United States and the Zionist regime [Israel].”
The military parades were the start of commemoration for the “Sacred Defence Week”, which marks the onset the Iran-Iraq war 37 years ago.
“The Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000km and can carry multiple warheads,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.
Iran says all of its missiles are designed to carry conventional warheads only and their range has been limited, although commanders say they have the technology to go further.
That makes them only medium-range but still sufficient to reach Israel or US bases in the Gulf.
Rouhani’s statement came days after the US president, Donald Trump, called Iran a “murderous regime” and “corrupt dictatorship” during his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Trump called the international nuclear deal an “embarrassment”.
“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilising activities while building dangerous missiles and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear programme,” he said.
We will not seek permission from anyone to defend our country
– Hassan Rouhani, Iranian president
“Believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.
“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it.”
The Iran nuclear deal has to be recertified by Trump in October.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s secretary of state, has said the nuclear agreement must be changed or the US could not stick with it.
Iran has said its nuclear accord cannot be renegotiated.
Thus far, the UN nuclear watchdog and the US State Department have reported that Tehran has complied with the terms of the nuclear deal. Development of non-nuclear missile systems are not part of the deal.