Iran Will Ramp Up Defense to Counter US Threats

Iran Will Ramp Up Defense to Counter US ThreatsIran Will Ramp Up Defense to Counter US Threats

Iranian plans to develop its deterrent missile program are aimed at countering mounting US threats after its hawkish president, Donald Trump, took office in January, lawmakers said. In an interview with ICANA on Sunday, Gholamali Jafarzadeh, an MP, said Trump is taking anti-Iran decisions.

"We are trying to send a message that they [the Americans] will suffer the consequences of their actions against the national interests of the Islamic Republic," he said. "If Trump threatens Iran and seeks to further boost Israel, the Islamic Republic will go beyond all limits to build missiles and weapons to defend itself so that enemies could only dream of attacking Iran."

Days after assuming office last month, Trump's administration announced it was putting Iran "on notice" over a ballistic missile launch and imposed new sanctions on entities and people allegedly linked to Tehran's missile program. Like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump has been an outspoken critic of the nuclear deal that the previous US administration, along with five other world powers, negotiated with Iran in July 2015. Trump promised the Israeli leader after a meeting in mid-February that his administration will take additional steps to ensure Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon, an objective that the Islamic Republic says has never pursued.  "My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon," Trump said.

Lawmaker Hassan Norouzi said Trump's remarks underline the longstanding "Zionist-imperialist" hostility toward the Islamic Republic. Trump seems to have backed away from his threats during electoral campaigns to dismantle the historic accord and his administration officials have indicated that they intend to persuade parties to the deal to accept stricter policing of its implementation by the UN nuclear agency. Another member of parliament, Asghar Salimi, sees Trump's remarks as signaling a change of strategy in his toughened Iran policy from threats to scrap the deal to imposition of fresh sanctions.

"If the Islamic Republic finds that the new sanctions violate JCPOA, it will lodge complaints and take reciprocal measures based on mechanisms envisaged in the action plan," Salimi said, using the official title of the pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.


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