TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “…defense and missile domains are not negotiable. We do not wait for others in this issue, because our strategy is based on defense and we do not take permission for that. We will be armed to the highest level to defend ourselves and we will provide equipment for ourselves.”
On October 16, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division said Tehran will not stop boosting its missile capabilities under any circumstances, shrugging off US President Donald Trump’s call for constraints on Iran’s ballistic missile program.
“[Even] if a wall is constructed all around the country, the production of missiles will not be halted, because this is a completely indigenous and domestic industry,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.
He added that the IRGC was defending the Iranian nation’s interests and would not be deceived by enemies, emphasizing that the IRGC would continue to boost its capabilities on a daily basis, because security is paramount in all conditions.
The IRGC commander played down concerns about a possible war against Iran, saying, “This is the enemy’s psychological warfare and our country is so strong that no one will dare attack or confront the Islamic Republic.”
Hajizadeh also pointed to Washington’s hostile approaches to Tehran and added, “The US enmity is an unchangeable issue and strategy. [Therefore,] its tactics may change but the strategy itself never changes.”
He emphasized that US statesmen were under the influence of Zionists, saying, “Their core policies are dictated by the Zionists.”
The US president on October 13 refused to formally certify that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.
While Trump did not pull Washington out of the nuclear deal, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Reimposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories to the accord and the European Union.
Trump also said his goal was to ensure Iran would never obtain a nuclear weapon, adding, "We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout."
Shortly after Trump’s anti-Iran speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani questioned the US motives in expressing concern over Iran's missile program, saying Washington was providing arms to "aggressive countries" to target innocent people in the region, including in Yemen.
He said, "Our missiles are for our defense and we have always endeavored for the production of our weapons and we will redouble our efforts from now on and will continue enhancing our defensive [prowess]."