Boosting Defense Needs No Foreign Approval

Boosting Defense Needs No Foreign Approval   Boosting Defense Needs No Foreign Approval

Iran does not need the permission of foreign countries to bolster its defense capabilities, the defense minister said after the US and its allies urged the United Nations to take action over Tehran's recent ballistic missile tests.

Lieutenant General Hossein Dehqan said Iran's regular missile drills are "based on prearranged plans carried out to assess the degree of its preparedness and capabilities."

"We will continue to act on developing defense capabilities with the aim of responding to any threat. In this course, we will not need any authorization or approval from others," he told state television on Wednesday.

Dehqan stressed that Iran will never move toward developing unconventional weapons.

"The Islamic Republic has never had and will never have an aggressive attitude toward any nation or country, [but] in defending itself, it will use all means possible on the basis of its national interests," he said.

 Call for Security Council Meeting

Dehqan's remarks came after the US, France, Britain and Germany were reported to have called for a UN Security Council meeting to respond to Iran's ballistic missile tests.

Citing unnamed diplomats, Reuters said experts from the 15-nation body would discuss Iran's missile program on Friday and are expected to consider the possibility of a statement condemning missile launches.

Dehqan predicted that the council would not take any action against Iran because the tests did not violate either a July 2015 nuclear agreement or a UN resolution to endorse the deal.

"I am confident that the Security Council and the United Nations will not respond as our actions are neither a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the nuclear deal] nor are they against Resolution 2231," he said.

In their letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday, the US and its three European allies stopped short of calling Iran's missile launches a "violation" of the resolution.

The tests, they claimed, were "inconsistent with" and "in defiance of" council resolution 2231, because they were "inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons", a charge Iran vehemently denies.

"I think the US, Britain and France must look a bit at their own national interests and stand less as an advocate of the interests of Israel as an aggressive, murderer and illegitimate regime," Dehqan said.

Resolution 2231 "calls upon" Iran to refrain for up to eight years from activity related to ballistic missiles designed with the capability of delivering nuclear weapons.