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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Iran to respond to any U.S. sanctions over missile program: spokesperson

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 19:09, December 31, 2015

TEHRAN, Dec. 31 -- Iran will respond to any new U.S. sanctions and interfering measures over its defensive missile program, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said here on Thursday.

U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it was considering sanctions against a number of Iranian and international individuals and agencies for their alleged involvement in developing Iran's ballistic missile program. The U.S. move can be a response to Iran's recent test of a ballistic missile.

'Such a move is illegal, unilateral and tactless, and Iran has already noted this point to the United States,' Jaber Ansari was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.

'Iran's missile program has nothing to do with the recent agreement over Iran's nuclear program, and nothing can prevent Iran from its legitimate and legal right to strengthen its defensive foundations and national security,' he said.

In October, Iran announced the tests of long-range Emad missile which could be guided and controlled until hitting the target with high precision.

Later, Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said the Emad missile was 'totally conventional,' dismissing a United Nations experts' report in December that Iran violated the UN Security Council Resolution 1929 by test-firing the Emad missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The UN report said the Emad ballistic missile has a range of 'no less than 1,000 km with a payload of at least 1,000 kg.'

Under Resolution 1929, Iran is prohibited from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

Dehqan also said the October test was based on Iran's own interests for enhancement of its deterrent power. 'Iran will not accept any restrictions in this regard,' he added.

Tehran is believed to have the largest ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East and has developed a 2,000-km missile.

Iran and six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- signed a historic nuclear deal in July to imposes limits on the Iranian nuclear program in return for lifting of economic sanctions.

Under the deal, Iran will also receive natural uranium from Russia and Kazakhstan to be used in nuclear reactors for future energy production.

Earlier, a total of 11 tons of low-enriched uranium has been shipped to Russia from Iran while Norway has helped verify a shipment of 60 tons of raw uranium to Iran, as part of the nuclear deal.

Board members of the United Nations nuclear agency on Tuesday adopted a resolution to close the investigation into whether Tehran once had a nuclear weapons program, upon a review of Iran's implementation of its commitments under a nuclear deal endorsed by the UN Security Council in July.

Also this month, after a 12-year investigation of Iran's suspected nuclear plans, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decided to close the process in light of the nuclear deal.

Board members of the United Nations nuclear agency adopted a resolution to close the investigation into whether Tehran once had a nuclear weapons program, upon a review of Iran's implementation of its commitments.



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