16:55 GMT +319 July 2018
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    A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran on March 9, 2016. (File)

    Iran to Continue Its Missile Program Despite International Pressure

    © AFP 2018 / Mahmood Hosseini /TASNIM NEWS
    Middle East
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    Iran will not abandon its missile program and will continue activities related to the country's defense industry, Iran's new Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, the Iranian parliament had approved almost all Cabinet candidates proposed by the country's President Hassan Rouhani, except the nominee for the position of the energy minister. Hatami was appointed as the country's new defense minister.

    "We will firmly stick to our defense industry and will not allow a day of delay in defense ministry's mission," Hatami told reporters when asked about his response to certain countries' pressure on Iran's missile program as quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). Hatami was speaking on the sidelines of the first cabinet meeting of the newly-formed Iranian Cabinet.

    Addressing the parliament on Sunday, Rouhani stressed that the most important goal of the new government would be to safeguard the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    On July 14, 2015, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, collectively referred to as the P5+1 group, signed the JCPOA with Iran on the latter's nuclear program. The deal stipulated a gradual lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran's assurances that its nuclear program would remain in a peaceful nature.

    On July 29, the US Senate approved a bill on new non-nuclear sanctions against 18 individuals and entities in Iran over the country's missile program and human rights violations. The move has been widely criticized by Iranian senior officials, claiming that the US bill violated the provisions of the JCPOA. Tehran vowed to impose retaliatory measures against US individuals and entities.


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