Iranian regime officials have pledged to respond to any coming U.S. sanctions by “forcefully” continuing to boost “its missile capabilities,” announced defense minister Brig Gen Hossein Dehqan on Friday.
The Obama White House was said to be preparing financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, when suddenly, on New Year’s Eve, the Administration announced they would delay the sanctions against Tehran’s ballistic missile program.
“In view of America’s recent hostile steps and the esteemed President (Hassan Rouhani)’s emphasis, we will increase the speed and scope of our missile capabilities,” Dehqan said, according to state-controlled PressTV.
“Iran’s missile capabilities have never been the subject of negotiations with the Americans and will never be,” he added. “Iran’s defense power is a guarantee for security and stability in the region.
The defense minister’s escalatory rhetoric comes following the receipt of a letter by President Hassan Rouhani, who ordered the increase in missile production in response to the U.S. sanctions.
Another Iranian official, Maj Gen Mohsen Rezayee has called for the regime’s defense ministry to “boost the range” of Iranian missiles to about 3,100 miles, according to state-controlled Fars News Agency.
A third Iranian General, Hossein Salami, threatened that Iran has so many missiles that they have trouble finding space for all of the weapons.
“We lack enough space in our stockpiles to house our missiles,” said Salami on Friday.
“Hundreds of long tunnels are full of missiles ready to fly to protect your integrity, independence and freedom,” the general told worshippers at Friday prayers, according to AFP.
Since the passage of the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has violated international sanctions on at least two occasions.
Iran recently conducted a series of ballistic missile tests, which are banned under UN Security Resolution 1929. Additionally, this week, the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran conducted what U.S. officials called a “highly provocative” missile test in the Strait of Hormuz
The White House sanctions delay could allow for Iran to continue thwarting international law, terrorism expert Matthew Levitt explained in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
By backing off sanctions over Iran’s ballistic missile test–and fairly insignificant sanctions at that–the Obama administration has left the impression that, contrary to its repeated pledges, it may not enforce current sanctions or impose new ones should Tehran violate U.N. Security Council resolutions or the nuclear deal.
Since the passage of the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran has continued its role as the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror by continuing to arm and fund its proxy, Hezbollah, and fight on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria. The group also supports Houthi militants in Yemen, revolutionary forces in Bahrain, and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.