Iran Pledges to Defy U.S. Sanctions, Build up Ballistic Missile Program

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Iran will ignore recently-passed U.S. sanctions against its ballistic missile program, the regime’s defense minister pledged on Monday, promising to unveil new homemade weapons systems in the near future.

“[Any] attempt to impose new sanctions [against Iran] under irrelevant pretexts is indicative of the continued US hostile policy and acrimony toward the Iranian nation, and a futile effort to undermine Iran’s defense might,” said Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan on Monday.

U.S. sanctions enacted over the weekend will have minimal effect on Iran’s missile development programs, he added.

“Hence, sanctions against [certain] people and companies will have no impact on the development of the industry, and we will actually demonstrate [their ineffectiveness] by displaying new missiles,” Dehqan said, in comments reported by state-run PressTv.

The Defense Minister’s comments follow a statement from Iran’s foreign ministry statement pledging to thwart the United States’ “destructive” sanctions against Iran’s weapons program.

“We will respond to such propaganda stunts and disruptive measures by more robustly pursuing our lawful missile program and promoting our defense capabilities and national security,” read a statement from Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari.

On Sunday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced it would impose sanctions against a number of individuals and organizations over Iran’s ballistic missile program.

“Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions,” read a statement from Adam Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We have consistently made clear that the United States will vigorously press sanctions against Iranian activities outside of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program.”

The new sanctions come as Iran is expected to receive tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets in accordance with the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed upon by the regime in Tehran and the P5+1 world powers.

On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S. had granted Iran $1.7 billion dollars, repaying the Ayatollah’s theocracy a $400 million dollar debt plus $1.3 billion in interest. Kerry called the payment a “fair settlement.” President Obama agreed, claiming “the settlement could save us billions of dollars that could have been pursued by Iran.”


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