Iran to boost missile programme despite US sanctions

Tehran: Iran will enhance its missile power despite new US sanctions aimed at curbing its defense capabilities, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said on Thursday, according to the state TV.

In line with a decree by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran will respond to any “meddlesome US measure” against its defence programme by boosting the country’s missile might, Jaber Ansari said in response to fresh US embargo on two Iranian firms allegedly linked to Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

“Gone is the era of spreading Iranophobia and resorting to false pretexts to portray Iran as a threat,” Jaber Ansari said, adding that Tehran’s defense capabilities are a key factor in restoring stability and security to the region which is currently facing a critical condition.

The Iranian missile program “is totally for peaceful purposes and no measure can strip Tehran of its legitimate and legal right to boost its defensive capabilities and (safeguard) national security,” he was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Iran’s missile programme was solely for protecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as combating terrorism and extremism, he said, emphasizing that the country’s military might serves regional and global interests.

Blacklisting two Iranian companies by the US Treasury Department on Thursday followed the country’s ballistic missiles tests in March.

“Instead of measures that only lead to instability in the region and the world, the US government needs to (respond to) serious security demands in western Asia, including nuclear disarmament of the Zionist regime (of Israel), ending crimes and warmongering by the US allies in Syria and Yemen, and engaging in a sincere campaign against the militants of the Islamic State (IS),” the Iranian spokesman said.