'Iran will continue to develop, test missiles despite US opposition' (Lead)
Tehran : Iran will continue to develop and test missiles in line with its deterrence policy despite adversarial positions taken on this issue by the US officials, a spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces said here on Sunday.
"Missile tests and the overall defensive capability of the Islamic republic are for defence purposes and in line with our country's deterrence policy," Abolfazl Shekarchi said, Xinhua news agency reported.
"We will continue to both test and develop missiles," he said, adding that "this issue is outside the framework of any negotiations and is part of our national security."
"We will not ask for any country's permission in this regard," he stressed.
Iran has assured regional countries that the boost of missiles power of the Islamic republic does not hurt the interests of other countries, Shekarchi said.
"Such measures are only in line with boosting the country's deterrent and defence power," he added.
Shekarchi made the remarks in reaction to an earlier remarks by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that Iran's ballistic missile tests violated the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231.
Pompeo said on Saturday that "the Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that's capable of carrying multiple warheads. This test violates UNSCR 2231."
"We condemn these activities and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities relating to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons," he said.
In reaction, Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday dismissed as "ridiculous" the charges by Pompeo.
"Iran's missile program has a defensive nature and is designed based on the country's needs," Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, was quoted as saying by the ministry's website.
"No resolution at the UN Security Council has banned Iran's missile program or missile tests," Qasemi said.
The Iranian spokesman said that the remarks by Pompeo is "ridiculous since the US refers to a resolution which not only has it violated by unilateral and illegal withdrawal, but by encouraging others to violate it, or even threatening them to punish" in case they remain committed to it.
UNSCR 2231 has endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the 2015 deal on nuclear program of Iran.
The US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of it in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran which had been removed under the deal.
Besides, Iran's Defence Minister, Amir Hatami, said on Sunday that the Islamic republic has turned into one of the world's missile powers despite tolerating severe western sanctions over the past 40 years.
"Today, Iran is among the world's top powers in building missiles, radars, armoured vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)," Hatami told official IRNA news agency.
"Iran has managed to attain a very desirable and acceptable performance in the field of defensive products and the (Iranian) Defence Ministry has become self-sufficient in defence industry despite tough sanctions by the arrogant powers in the past 40 years," he said.