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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Defense Minister: Iran self-sufficient in defense industry

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 9, IRNA -- Defense Minister said that Iran is now enjoying a vast national network which enables the country to meet all its needs in a short time with an acceptable quality and cost.

'We were unfairly targetted by Iraq's ex-Baathist regime, by imposed eight-year war (1980-88 Iran-Iraq war) which was provoked by the US and supported and armed by all other western countries' advanced weapons,' said Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan in an interview with Lebanese Al Manar TV channel on Monday.

'At that time the only arms available to our nation were mainly US-made or made by other western countries, but they called their military advisors from our country and did not support the systems' technically, which caused a difficult situation for us."

They targeted Iran by unfair sanctions since early years after the Islamic Revolution that prevented us from importing weapons and military equipment from other countries, said the Defense Minister.

The defense minister noted that producing the required equipment by utilizing Indigenized capabilities and facilities was put forth, and said, 'Then the expansion of defense industries began.'

'The war provided the Iranians with so many valuable lessons, enabling them to identify distinguished talents over eight years,' General Dehqan added.

He pointed to the ballistic, cruise and anti-aircraft missiles, vessels, electronic communication and radar systems as examples of Iranian experts' achivements, and stressed that at some point the Iranian experts' manufacturing activities were largely based on reverse engineering or using simulators.

"Over the past decade, however, designing and development were given much attention," Dehqan said, adding that today Iran is now able to design any required item in the industrial fields, engineer the production process, as well as conducting different tests, overall providing a high capacity in design, complicated, multi-dimension projects management, and an industrial infrastructure that helped Iran attain self-sufficiency.

Responding to a question on the status of Iran's missile programs, he said that the country is capable of making all kinds of liquid and solid fuel rockets with ranges proportionate to the outside threats.

He underlined the missile precision as an important issue to Islamic Republic of Iran, and said that the precision is now under 50 meters for long-range missiles.

The Defense Minister also noted that Iran in infantry sector is able to manufacture all anti-armor weapons proportionate to the country's enemies warfare power, with some new technologically modern items waiting to be unveiled in the future.

He pointed to Karrar tank as an exemplary infantry fighting vehicle made by Iranian experts, and also high precision and destruction ability of its artilleries, and said that the country had so many achievements, including the guided artilleries capable of hitting long-range targets precisely.

He said that Iran's defense technologies could be exported based on the national interests, to those countries that are ready to respect our security reservations.

Emphasizing the honor of being Muslim, he advised the Islamic nations of the world not to submit to imperialistic systems and to maintain their solidarity by standing against imperialism and stealing their dignity and resources.

"Today, we witness that Saudi Arabia is so desperate that is bowing to Netanyahu (Israel Prime Minister) to provoke him for attacking us," he added while putting forth the question why the Saudi establishment wanted to suppress any nation which do not want to surrender to Wahhabism and Salafism.

Asked about the probability of transferring the war to Iran by Saudi Arabia, the Iranian Defense Minister affirmed that the 'bluffs' by Saudis is due to the fact that they are struggling to get themselves out of quagmires they have etrapped themselves in.

He argued that the Saudis could not overwhelm the poor Yemenis, even with the US weapons and other countries' help, now they were thinking in vain that they could deceive a great, ancient nation like Iran.

He defined the solution for Saudi Arabia's crisis in Yemen as retreating from the country, avoiding any kind of intervention in Islamic countries, accepting the collective security order in the region as well as respecting the nations' sovereignty over their own future.

'We advised them not to commit any such foolish act,' the Iranian general said referring to the Saudi Defense Minister's claim that the war would be transferred to Iran, 'but in case they do not heed and act aggressively, I doubt any place in Saudi Arabia would remain intact, except for Mecca and Madina.'

As to Syria issue, and the trilateral committee of Iran-Turkey-Russia, considering Turkey's "the double-standard policy", Dehqan affirmed that Tehran has a manifold policy towards Turkey with regard to Iraq and Syria, adding that at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other Arab countries attempted to topple the Syrian government and replace it with their favorite regime. But over the years, he added, they realized that it could not be expected that the Syrian government would succumb to terrorism.

He refered to the Turkey's presence in Northern Syria as an 'aggression which is not justified by excuse', and added that Astana Talks are mainly aimed at establishing a dialogue between the Syrian government and the oppositions, except the terrorist organizations, to form a political process there.

'Turkey's presence in the talks is merely to guarantee any ceasefire on the part of the armed groups it supports,' General Dehqan added.

In answering the question on Turkey's readiness for accepting that Syria's government would stay in power, he stressed those who cannot accept the reality would be given difficult lessons by history.

in another part of the interview, Dehqan advised the US and other players in the region not to expand the crisis range.

"If the US fights with Daesh (the ISIS terrorist group) it would be a good development, but I doubt it, as Daesh is the very product of the US and now it is manipulated as a means so that wherever it wishes, in Muslim countries to make trouble, to destruct the countries, it can resort to it; in fact, it has created a mini Israel."

The Iranian defense minister continued: it is a wrong calculation that they believe they can occupy the land and resort to some mercenaries to represent a whole nation and achieve something; we hope they come to senses, stop the childish games and the obsolete thought that they used to think it is possible to influence a country by employing a few people, then to change the regime and leave the country, as today, nations are mindful and aware of their enemies.

He also rejected the claim that Iran and Russia disagree on Syria, saying that Syrian government and military are nearly the pivot of every plan conducted in the country, and Russians are there upon the Syrian government's request.

Dehqan stressed that Iran would also act to the extent that the Syrian government seeks.

The Iranian Defense Minister answered the question "how much is it possible that Israel starts a war against Iran?" by asking a series of questions: was it able to conclude the 33-day war successfully?, did Hezbollah, in a country like Lebanon, have any access to large financial or arm sources?

'Today Israel is doing its hardest to convince hypocritically those who have settled in the occupied territories that it can support them and provide them with security,' added Dehqan, saying that this is due to the identity crisis that has afflicted the Zionist regiem.

He affirmed that if Israel could attack Iran, it would have already done it, no doubt.

He forecast that the Middle East region would be targeted by the US, because it is the agglomeration of the Islamic countries and due to its richness in energy and other resources.

'Therefore, they would not like to see it stable and secure, and try to interrupt its peace with any excuse' he said.

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