Tehran, Iran, January 1
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Programs aimed at developing Iran's missile power are strenuously pursued under the commander-in-chief and the Islamic Republic has not abandoned its missile program for one single day, Iranian armed forces spokesman Masoud Jazayeri said.
Missile programs are not subject to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and recent US attempts show their innate hatred toward the Islamic Republic, he stressed, IRNA news agency reported January 1.
Two days earlier, reports said the US Treasury Department was preparing sanctions against a number of Iranian and other international companies and individuals for their alleged role in developing Iran's ballistic missile program.
The reports were met with harsh reaction by Iran as President Hassan Rouhani in an official decree on December 31 ordered Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan to brace the missile program.
Rouhani called the purported plan by the White House a measure in line with hostile US policies to "illegally interfere in the Islamic Republic of Iran's programs for boosting the defense power."
Quickly after, reports emerged that the US government was to delay the planned financial sanctions.
Elsewhere, Ali Akbar Velayati, senior consultant to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said December 31 that such US actions will not go without response from Iran.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned potential sanctions, saying they violate the agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany - in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
"Iran will resolutely respond to any interfering action by America against its defensive programs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also in a televised interview said missile programs do not violate the nuclear deal, adding "There is not end to US hostility."
According to the nuclear agreement, the signatories are to remove past sanctions and refrain from imposing any new restrictions on Iran's economy.