By Arash Karami, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
Rouhani Orders More Missiles in Response to New Sanctions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the Defense Ministry to speed up its missile production following reports that the United States will sanction a number of companies and individuals in relation to the country’s ballistic missile program.
In the Dec. 31 letter published on Iranian news websites, Rouhani called the new proposed sanctions “a continuation of America’s hostile, illegitimate and illegal interference in Iran’s right to strengthen its self-defense.” He asked the defense minister to speed up the production of all “types of missiles needed by the armed forces.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari also condemned the new sanctions, calling them “unilateral, arbitrary and illegal.” Speaking with reporters Dec. 31, he said that Iranian officials had previously told the United States that their country’s nuclear program has nothing to do with the comprehensive nuclear deal, referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Despite the new sanctions, Jaber Ansari said, “No action will be able to deprive Iran of its legitimate and legal right to strengthen its defense and national security.” He added that Iran will respond to any interference from the United States against the country’s defense plans.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Treasury is preparing sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities in Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong for their alleged role in helping Iran’s ballistic missile program. Iran had fired two ballistic missiles in October and November, which according to a 2010 UN Security Council resolution Iran is banned from doing.