Iran President Rouhani says country will increase missile capabilities after 'ignorant' Trump speech

Revolutionary Guard unveils powerful new rocket, capable of carrying several warheads

Will Worley
Friday 22 September 2017 08:32 BST
The President says he will not seek permission from anyone to ‘defend’ the country
The President says he will not seek permission from anyone to ‘defend’ the country (AFP/Getty)

Iran has unveiled a powerful new missile, as the country’s President, Hassan Rouhani, promised to boost their weapons capabilities, in defiance of threats from US President Donald Trump.

Mr Rouhani said the country would not be seeking permission from anyone to “defend” itself.

Soon after the remarks, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards showed off the new Khorramshahr ballistic missile, capable of carrying several warheads up to 1,200 miles (2,000km).

The range of the missile means it could be fired at Israel – the two countries share a history of animosity – along with many other places in the Middle East.

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, told Tasnim news agency the warheads have “various uses”.

Hillary Clinton says Trump UN speech 'dark and dangerous'

The moves come just days after an inflammatory speech by Mr Trump at the United Nations, in which he verbally attacked Iran and suggested he would end the 2015 nuclear deal with the country.

Speaking at a parade commemorating the country’s bloody war with Iraq, Mr Rouhani said: “We will increase our military power as a deterrent.

“We will strengthen our missile capabilities ... We will not seek permission from anyone to defend our country.”

He added: “All countries in the world supported the nuclear deal in the United Nations General Assembly this year ... except the United States and the Zionist regime (Israel).”

Mr Rouhani also said Tehran would keep supporting the “oppressed people of Yemen, Syria and Palestine”, a reference to Iran’s role in wars in Yemen and Syria and support for Palestinian militant groups, such as Hamas.

During his debut UN speech, Mr Trump called Iran a “murderous regime” and accused it of stoking violence in the countries referenced by Mr Rouhani.

Mr Trump also said the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was an “embarrassment” and accused the country of building “dangerous” missiles.

The Obama-era agreement, in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of economic sanctions, was hailed as a major step forward in diplomatic relations between the two countries.

But Mr Trump has long derided the deal, and frequently cited it during his election campaign as an example of how American power was being lost.

Mr Rouhani has maintained it cannot be renegotiated.

He branded Mr Trump a “rogue newcomer” to international relations and said his approach to the deal was “ignorant and absurd”.

Tensions have been increasing between the US and Iran since Mr Trump took power, though much of his focus has so far been on North Korea.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in