Politics

Iran will keep building missiles, Rouhani says

Country to continue building despite US objections

(CNN) - Iran's missile program is not in breach of its nuclear deal and will continue despite objections from the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would no longer make regular certifications that the lifting of sanctions under the deal -- known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) -- had been in U.S. interests.

The agreement was negotiated in 2015 with the P5 +1 powers and the European Union. The P5+1 includes Germany and the permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.

In an Oct. 13 speech, Trump said the deal "was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into" and accused Iran of committing "multiple violations of the agreement."

According to the Iranian president's official website, Rouhani in a speech Sunday questioned the U.S. government's credibility and reliability.

"If a government like the U.S. government states that it is not committed to an important international commitment, and its reason is that the previous administration has been tricked, then what happens with the continuity of the responsibility of the governments?" it quoted him as saying. "You are explicitly violating your previous agreements and neglecting a UN Security Council-approved agreement."

The fact that the plan does not address Iran's nuclear missile program is one reason why Trump had been dissatisfied with the agreement.

"Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!" the U.S. leader tweeted in late September.

In his Oct. 13 speech, Trump said: "We cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout.

Iran missile program

But Sunday Rouhani said Iran had fulfilled its obligations on the nuclear issue and had the right to defend itself.

"We will build, produce and store any weapon of any kind we need to defend ourselves, our territorial integrity and our nation, and we will not hesitate about it," he said.

"Understand that we have been building missiles, and will continue to do so and this does not contradict any of international laws and it is not in conflict with Resolution 2231. We will continue to defend our national interests and security with all our might, and the enemies should know that violation of any agreement will be detrimental to them, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will give them a decisive answer."

Trump's decision to decertify the JCPoA agreement did not amount to canceling the agreement, but rather gave Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions against Iran, a move that could leave the United States in violation of the deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, American allies and the U.S. government all have said Tehran is complying with the official pact. Britain, Germany, France and the EU said they would stand by the deal and urged Congress "to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA."


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