A top Iranian commander has warned that Iran will use its missiles against enemies should they take any hostile action against Tehran.
“If the enemy sets a foot wrong, our roaring missiles will pour on them,” said Commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh on the sidelines of major drills, dubbed “Defenders of the Velayat Skies,” underway in the north-central Iranian province of Semnan on Saturday.
The commander underscored Tehran’s determination to bolster its defense capabilities and noted, “Matters such as nuclear capability and know-how, missile might and similar issues are just a pretext for their animosity towards the Islamic establishment and the Iranian nation.”
The remarks come amid tough talk from the new US administration which has ratcheted up hostile actions against Iran.
In vague, threatening comments, White House national security adviser Michael Flynn said on Wednesday that Washington was “officially putting Iran on notice.”
US Defense Secretary James Mattis called Iran “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world” hours after the US President Donald Trump’s administration announced fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic following a recent missile test.
On Friday, the US administration imposed new sanctions against Iran over a recent missile test by the Islamic Republic and allegations of the country’s support for terrorism.
Washington claims that a recent missile test by Iran violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, including the US.
Iranian officials have voiced support for the country’s defense program, criticizing the hostile approach of the US administration.
On Friday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed the fresh US sanctions over Iran’s defensive missile program, saying Tehran would deliver a “proportionate and reciprocal” response to the move. The foreign ministry said Iran’s missile program is the undeniable and inalienable right of the Iranian nation according to international law and the United Nations Charter.
The Islamic Republic has always stressed that its military might poses no threat to other countries and is in line with the country’s plan to boost its deterrence power.
Iran is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Azerbaijan; to the north by the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq.
Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world. With 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the world’s 17th-most-populous country.
It is the only country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The country’s central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, make it of great geostrategic importance.
Tehran is the country’s capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic center.