Rouhani: Iran will continue to produce missiles

Iranian president lashes out at US and says he does not believe Tehran’s missile programme violates international laws.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani delivers remarks at a news conference during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, US, September 20, 2017 [Stephanie Keith/Reuters]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran will continue to produce missiles for defence purposes and does not believe its missile development programme violates international accords.

In a speech to parliament on Sunday, Rouhani also hit out at the US, calling negotiations with Washington “madness.”

“We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles,” the 68-year-old was quoted by State TV as saying. 

“We are not contradicting UN Resolution 2231.”

Rouhani’s comments come after US President Donald Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with a landmark 2015 deal curtailing Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. 

Trump has repeatedly criticised the accord, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and enshrined under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, as “the worst deal ever” and “an embarrassment”.

Under the agreement, Tehran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear programme in return for the easing of economic sanctions.

Iran has repeatedly denied its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.

On Saturday, Iranian army Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan also rejected the idea of discussing the country’s missile capabilities, calling it “not negotiable.”

“Our missile might is among the capabilities that are not negotiable at all,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted Pourdastan as saying.

Source: Al Jazeera