During an event on Saturday in which part of Iran’s military arsenal was on display, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran needs “no one’s permission” to build missiles.
“The strengthening of the capability of the Iranian armed forces is only for defending the country and we will ask no one’s permission to build up the armed forces, and to build missiles and aircraft,” he said.
According to Rouhani, his country never had “aggressive aims, but peace is not a one-way road and if we decide to be peaceful the other party may not. So, there is a need for vigilance.”
The message of Iran’s independence in building war machines was probably directed at the U.S. after Rouhani reportedly called President Trump’s Syrian airstrike a “blatant violation” of Syrian sovereignty.
In preparing for an upcoming election, it’s possible that the Iranian president is trying to prove to his critics that he is not trying to appease world powers after making a landmark deal to stifle Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
During his candidacy, Trump had criticized the nuclear deal and promised to stop Iran’s missile program. In January, Trump noted that Iran was “playing with fire” after they tested a new ballistic missile.
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