Iran’s President Rouhani Says Country Will Keep Producing Missiles

FILE PHOTO – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers remarks at a news conference during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S. September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international accords, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday in a speech broadcast on state television.

Rouhani spoke days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted for new sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile program, part of an effort to clamp down on Tehran without immediately moving to undermine an international nuclear agreement.

He also meet the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog in Tehran, who again vouched for Iran’s compliance with the 2015 accord that curbed its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, which has drawn fire from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements,” Rouhani said in a speech in parliament.

The United States has already imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a U.N. resolution, that calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and says it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles.

Rouhani also criticized the United States over Trump’s refusal this month to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the accord on Iran’s nuclear program, even though international inspectors say it is.

“You are disregarding past negotiations and agreements approved by the U.N. Security council and expect others to negotiate with you?” Rouhani said.

“Because of the behavior it has adopted, America should forget any future talks and agreement with other countries,” Rouhani added, referring to unnamed countries in East Asia, an apparent reference to North Korea.

Source: Reuters