Iran boasted Saturday that it had tested a new medium-range missile that could reach much of the Middle East, including Israel.
The test was a gesture of defiance after President Donald Trump signed a law last month imposing mandatory penalties on anyone involved in or connected to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Trump also blasted Iran at the United Nations on Tuesday, calling its government a “murderous regime.”
Iranian state TV carried video of the Friday launch of the Khorramshahr missile and in-flight footage from the missile itself. The missile reportedly has a range of 1,250 miles and can carry multiple warheads.
Although the United States has demanded that Iran halt its missile program, Iran has indicated that will never happen.
“We will strengthen our defense and military capabilities … whether you want it or not,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, adding, “Iran’s military power lies in its commitment to never invade another country or land.”
However, Rouhani also made it clear that Iran remains an avowed enemy of Israel and all who support it.
At a military parade on Friday, Rouhani attacked those who “create problems for the peoples of our region every day and boast of selling arms to the bloodthirsty Zionist regime which has been attacking the peoples of our region for 70 years like a cancerous tumor.”
Iran said it can do as it wishes, regardless of the agreement it signed with the U.S. and five European nations not to pursue a nuclear weapons program.
“As long as some speak in the language of threats, the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities will continue and Iran will not seek permission from any country for producing various kinds of missile,” said Defense Minister Amir Hatami.
Trump is due to report to Congress by Oct. 15 on whether Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement. In the past, he has said he believes Iran is trying to build its capability to launch nuclear missiles when the agreement’s restrictions end in 2025.
On Tuesday, Trump called out Iran.
“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” Trump said.
“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Trump added.
Trump, who as a candidate opposed the nuclear agreement, said he was still a critic.
“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me,” he said, adding, “It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death of destruction.”
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