No Compromise on Defense Capability

US senators are pushing for a legislation that would instantly restore unilateral US sanctions if, among other conditions, Iran tests certain types of ballistic missiles
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei speaks at the graduation ceremony of Army cadets in Tehran on Oct. 25.Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei speaks at the graduation ceremony of Army cadets in Tehran on Oct. 25.

The Leader of Islamic Revolution reiterated Iran's stance that its defensive capabilities are non-negotiable, saying Tehran will hold its ground against pressures by adversaries to undermine "its elements of national strength".   

"Never do we engage in bargaining with adversaries regarding our defensive capabilities and things that boost our national clout," Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said at a graduation ceremony of Army cadets in Tehran on Wednesday, according to his official website.  

The Leader made the remark in reference to calls by European powers for negotiations with Iran on its ballistic missile program and regional role, which they describe as crucial to saving the 2015 nuclear pact.  

The deal's future hangs in the balance after US President Donald Trump threatened earlier this month to terminate it unless its "many serious flaws" are fixed.

Among the flaws, Trump has hinted, are that the nuclear pact does not restrict Iran's missile power and regional activities.

In an Oct. 13 speech, Trump also laid out an aggressive new strategy toward Tehran.

European parties to the deal, namely Britain, France and Germany, responded to the speech by a statement that stressed the need for keeping the deal in place.

However, the three states announced readiness to work with the US to address concerns regarding Iran's missile development and its role in the Middle East which they claim to be "destabilizing".

The Leader said "the global arrogance" is infuriated at Iran's growing clout, which they see as a major hindrance to their plots, and are seeking ways to reverse an uptrend in Tehran's influence on the world stage.

"To overcome these oppositions, we should do the opposite and stand our ground on elements of national strength," he said.

Trump said the US Congress should work with US allies to address purported shortcomings, and said he did not certify Iran as complying with its commitments.

Trump's decertification on Oct. 15 set the clock ticking on a 60-day period during which congress can choose to reimpose US sanctions lifted under the deal, or do nothing.

Some lawmakers in the US Senate are pushing for a legislation to set new conditions for the multilateral nuclear deal.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the draft legislation says it would instantly restore unilateral US sanctions that were lifted under the deal, if, among other conditions, Iran tests a ballistic missile able to carry a warhead, an objective that Tehran says has never pursued.

Separately, the US House of Representatives is to vote this week on new sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program.

It has broad bipartisan support in the House, and also is expected to pass the Senate.

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