CAATSA Not to Stop Iran from Boosting Defensive Power: Shamkhani

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani says the country’s determination to boost its defensive capabilities will not be influenced by US sanctions.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his Tuesday visit to Tehran Press Exhibition, Shamkhani referred to the US extension of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), also known as the “Mother of All Sanctions.”

“The US Congress wants to extend CAATSA today. Once the US produced the Mother of All Bombs. Since then, Iran has developed and turned into a powerful country. All these show these Mothers (Mother of All Bombs and Mother of All Sanctions) have been ineffective and will have no bearing on the Iranian nation’s fundamental moves to defend their national and territorial identity,” said Shamkhani.

He further noted that the country’s defence issues, including the missile program, are non-negotiable, according to a Farsi report by Alef news website.

Shamkhani went on to say that Iran’s defence power is based on its domestic potentialities.

He also underlined that Tehran will not negotiate on any of the provisions of the Iran nuclear deal.

The top official then touched upon reports that the Russian defence minister has, in a meeting with Israeli officials, announced that Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah must leave southern Syria.

“I haven’t heard any such thing so far. [The forces of] Iran and Hezbollah are not only present in southern Syria; rather, their troops are present in all parts of Syria. The Russian government hasn’t confirmed these reports, either; this must have been published by Israeli media,” said the top official.

He also touched upon Iraqi Kurdistan region’s President Masoud Barzani’s backing down from its position regarding the region’s secession from Iraq.

He said the people of the Kurdistan region are “our historical and religious friends and our brothers.”

He said Barzani had already been told that the holding of a referendum would not be in the interest of the Kurdish people and Barzani himself.

“But he didn’t listen and caused rifts among the people, and now he has no choice but to hand over the leadership of the Kurdistan region,” Shamkhani said.

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