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President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a ceremony in Tehran on Feb. 4 to inaugurate cultural centers and war museums across the country.
President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a ceremony in Tehran on Feb. 4 to inaugurate cultural centers and war museums across the country.

Rouhani: Compromise on Defense Policy Ruled Out

“We want to pursue peace from a position of strength and we do not feel bound to negotiate any agreement with any power on our defensive power”

Rouhani: Compromise on Defense Policy Ruled Out

President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Iran's stance that it would never submit to pressure by the US and its allies to compromise on its legitimate right to developing its defense power.
"We want to pursue peace from a position of strength and we do not feel bound to negotiate any agreement with any power  on our defensive power," Rouhani said in a speech at a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday to inaugurate ten cultural centers and war museums across the country. 
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for the poor performance of his negotiating team during about two years of talks that culminated in a historic nuclear deal with Iran in July 2015.
It swapped time-bound curbs on Tehran's nuclear activities for relief from nuclear sanctions that had battered the Iranian economy for over a decade.
Trump has called for amendments to the accord to toughen those curbs and also add new constraints on Tehran's missile development and regional clout, issues that were agreed by the participants in nuclear negotiations to be left out of the scope of the final agreement. 
Trump is alarmed by Iran's growing missile and regional activities, viewing them as a threat to the US interests in the Middle East.
The Iran hawk gave the pact another reprieve on January 12, saying it is the last chance for European allies and the US Congress to work with him to fix those "disastrous flaws" in the nuclear deal within four months or he would withdraw from it.
Trump has also called for a separate side agreement with Europeans to address his non-nuclear concerns on Iran.

  Deterring Aggression 
Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and only a deterrent, a position reasserted by Rouhani.
"We need to constantly develop our defense power and as long as there are threats against our country we should strengthen ourselves sufficiently to confront those threats," he said.
"Today many defense weapons are being built domestically. We should also purchase some of the weapons we require, so we become so strong that the enemy does not dare threaten us and is deterred from aggression and feel that it would have to pay a heavy cost for any aggression."
The US claims Iran's missile activities are in violation of the UN resolutions, an accusation that Tehran has flatly rejected.
Iran is "called upon" by Resolution 2231, which enshrines the nuclear deal, to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Iranian officials argue that the resolution's phrasing on the ban does not make it obligatory and Iran does not own any nuclear-capable missiles. 
European signatories to the Iran deal, namely France, Britain, and Germany, share Trump's concerns on Tehran's missile development and regional role and have said they are open to working with him to address them.
But they have rejected Trump's call for a renegotiation of the deal, citing the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency that have verified the Islamic Republic's full compliance with its deal commitments.
It has said that the deal cannot be revised.

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