A senior commander for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) announced late Wednesday that the country’s missile program will not stop under any circumstances. The statement from the official comes as IRGC test-fired several ballistic missiles over the last two days, challenging a U.N. resolution and a nuclear deal, under which the country agreed to limit its nuclear program to get relief from economic sanctions.
“Iran's missile program will not stop under any circumstances. ... The IRGC has never accepted the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iran's missile work ... we are always ready to defend the country against any aggressor. Iran will not turn into Yemen, Iraq or Syria,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told a state news network, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Hossein Jaberi-Ansari, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said Thursday that the test-firing of the missiles are not a violation of the nuclear deal signed in 2015.
“Iran's missile program and its test-firing of missiles in the past days during a military drill are not against its nuclear commitments and the nuclear deal reached with the six powers,” Reuters quoted Jaberi-Ansari as saying.
The first test occurred Tuesday when the IRGC reportedly fired several missiles from different underground silos across the country; however the footage was seen only for one. On Wednesday, the IRGC fired two new ballistic missiles from the northern part of the country that hit the southeastern part, traveling a distance of 870 miles.
Tuesday's tests had triggered a threat of sanctions from the U.S., which also said that it would raise the issue in the U.N. Security Council to get an “appropriate response.” A journalist based out of Tehran said, according to Al Jazeera, that the missile tests were “to show Iran's deterrent power and also the Islamic Republic's ability to confront any threat against the (Islamic) Revolution, the state and the sovereignty of the country.”
Hajizadeh had reportedly said earlier that the sanctions will not stop Iran from making ballistic missiles. He was also quoted on the website of IRGC as saying: “Our main enemies are imposing new sanctions on Iran to weaken our missile capabilities … But they should know that the children of the Iranian nation in the Revolutionary Guards and other armed forces refuse to bow to their excessive demands.”
Although Iran claims that the missiles tests did not violate the nuclear deal, U.S. and French officials recently said that a missile test by Iran would violate U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 that asked the Islamic republic not to conduct “any activity” related to ballistic missiles, which can deliver nuclear weapons.