Speaking in a ceremony to commemorate National Resistance Day in Dezful in south-western province of Khuzestan, General Hatami said the US has spared no chance since the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979 to undermine Iran’s defence power, trying all available options including sanctions, but to no avail.
Hatami said the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome obstacles and bolster its defence might.
“That’s why American have gone crazy and struggle hardly to weaken components of Iran’s defence power”, he said, according to a report by ISNA.
The defence minister was apparently responding to recent threats by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US will impose “strongest sanctions in history” on Iran unless it meets 12 US demands.
The list asks Tehran to halt its missile development, stop what the US believes are Iran’s interventions in the affairs of Iraq, Syria and Yemen and cease support for groups which the US considers as terrorist but Iran sees as legitimate resistance forces.
“If we had held today’s defence power when Americans shot down Iran’s airliner over the Persian Gulf […] we would have not allowed the criminal captain of the warship to be rewarded and would have certainly drowned that ship,” Hatami said.
Hatami was referring to the downing of an Iranian civilian plane carrying 290 passengers by the USS Vincennes over Persian Gulf waters in July 1988.
Washington claimed the ship mistook the large Iranian passenger plane for a relatively small fighter jet that intended to target the Vincennes.
However, former US president Ronald Reagan praised the unforgivable crime of the commander of the USS Vincennes and also decorated him with a medal.
Iranians mark July 3 each year by showering the site of the disaster in the Persian Gulf with flowers.