Iran Will Build Up Defense Despite US Objections
EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday Iran will press on with its defense program with full force in defiance of hostile states that want to rein in its military power, vowing that the country will overcome all challenges through national unity.
“We will stay on the path that we have chosen and will continue to enhance our military capabilities. Iran’s military power over the past four decades … has astonished the entire world,” he said during a ceremony held in Tehran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed monarchical regime, the presidential website reported.
Thousands of people, including senior officials, streamed toward Tehran’s Azadi Square where Rouhani delivered his remarks.
Demonstrators carried Iranian flags and chanted slogans against American and Israeli officials, as revolutionary songs were played. Similar rallies were staged in other Iranian provinces to commemorate the occasion, according to Financial Tribune.
The president said the Islamic Republic has never asked and will never ask for permission to implement its defense strategies and develop different types of missiles.
The president declared that Iran has attained self-sufficiency in manufacturing most military equipment, noting that around 85% of the hardware used in the defense sector are domestically made.
“This is while only 5% of the country’s military weapons and equipment were made in Iran during the reign of the past regime,” he told the crowd who braved the cold to swear allegiance to their leaders and denounce US President Donald Trump’s anti-Iran policies.
Trump abandoned Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, dealing a blow to the third-largest OPEC producer’s economy and driving up tensions between the two countries.
Rouhani described the nuclear agreement as a great diplomatic achievement and pledged that the Iranian nation will never give in to the bullying and excessive demands of the United States.
“We are the first country to get out of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter without surrendering to the enemy and this shows the power of the Iranian nation and diplomacy,” he said, referring to Iran’s removal from the chapter that allows UN-mandated external action after the nuclear accord was endorsed by the UN Security Council.
The president also pointed to the formal recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the deal, saying that it demonstrated the country’s political strength in the international arena.
Call for Unity
Rouhani acknowledged that US sanctions have caused financial hardship for Iranian families but said the government will be able to handle the economic pressure and improve the situation, thanks to the people’s support.
“Today, we are in a psychological and economic war with the country’s enemies who are pursuing a cruel policy against Iranians. We have to solve the existing problems together … We can defeat America through unity and cooperation,” the president told the gathering.
“The high turnout across Iran, including in Tehran, indicates that the enemies’ plots hatched over the past year have been foiled and that they will never achieve their ill-intentioned goals."
The president also said Iran’s regional power is undeniable, adding that the defeats suffered by the enemies in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen due to Iranian support and the will of people over the past several years have prompted them to withdraw their forces from the region.
Rouhani's comments were a reference to the US administration’s decision to pull out its troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
"No plan in the region can be carried out without Iran’s participation. Iran is the only country that can truly help regional nations," he said.