Iran's Pres orders to expand missile programme despite threats
Jan 1, Tehran: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has ordered an expansion of the country's ballistic missile development programme, in a move seen as a response to possible new US sanctions against Iranian officials and businesses, media reports said.
In a letter to the defense minister on Thursday, Rouhani said Iran will not accept any limitations on its missile programme.
Rouhani wrote in a letter, "Apparently, the US government is considering adding new individuals and institutions to the list of its previous oppressive sanctions."
He also said, "It's necessary to continue with greater speed and seriousness the plan for production of various missiles needed by the armed forces within the approved defense policies."
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US was preparing fresh sanctions against companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates over alleged links to Tehran's ballistic missile programme.
However, on Thursday, the newspaper said that there was no definitive timeline for when the sanctions would be imposed, citing US officials.
Iran condemned the reports, saying it has a right to develop missiles as long as they are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
A resolution adopted in 2010 prohibits Tehran from conducting launches of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
The Oslo Times