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Iran says defense capabilities not negotiable amid US demands

Iran says defense capabilities not negotiable amid US demands
Iran’s defense capabilities are not negotiable, Khamenei said on Wednesday in remarks made amid increased demands from the US government over Tehran’s controversial ballistic missile program, according to Reuters.

Ties between Iran and the United States have deteriorated under US President Donald Trump and suffered another deep blow two weeks ago when he decided not to certify a 2015 nuclear pact and warning he might ultimately terminate it, as he accused Iran of seeking nuclear capabilities that threatens the Middle East, along with supporting and funding numerous terrorist militias throughout the region.

Iran has reacted defiantly, dismissing Trump’s demands for the pact to be toughened up. Last week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said its ballistic missile program would accelerate despite US and European Union pressure to suspend it.

“The defense capabilities and strength of the country are not negotiable or up for haggling,” Khamenei was cited as saying at a ceremony at the Imam Ali army officer’s academy in Tehran, according to state media.

The ramping up of rhetoric on both sides has raised the specter of a possible military confrontation between the two countries. In recent months, small boats from the IRGC navy have swarmed close to American warships in the Gulf, prompting the US navy to fire flares and warning shots.

Under the landmark 2015 deal between Iran and world powers, the Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions.

The US Senate is considering new legislation which could lead to Washington restoring sanctions on Iran should it test a ballistic missile able to carry a warhead or bar nuclear inspectors from any sites.

In response, Khamenei said last week that Tehran would stick to the nuclear accord with world powers as long as the other signatories respected it, but would “shred” the deal if Washington pulled out.
Last Modified: Wednesday، 25 October 2017 05:15 PM