Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic has never even considered launching military aggression against any other country, stressing, however, that Tehran will not seek permission from others to manufacture missiles and fighter jets.
“We have repeatedly declared that strengthening the defensive prowess of Iran’s Armed Forces is only aimed at defending the country and will never be used against another country,” Rouhani said in a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday to unveil new domestically-manufactured defense achievements.
“[Striking] a regional balance and maintaining the defensive and deterrent power of a pivotal country like Iran, which has endangered big powers’ interests through its great [Islamic] Revolution and is conveying the message of justice and freedom to the world, are necessary,” he added.
He pointed to several crises in the Middle East and across the world and said, “In our region, we have witnessed different crimes and acts of aggression by regional countries and sometimes by big powers and the US.”
The Iranian president emphasized that the “powers’ intervention and the cancerous tumor of Israel” have always been a source of concern and insecurity in the Middle East.
Big powers have always sought to serve their own interests in the region, he said.
“Even if our region were completely secure and major powers were not present there, a country still needs deterrent power and the region requires balance,” Rouhani stated.
He warned of further problems if the regional balance was disturbed.
The Iranian chief executive further stressed the importance of remaining vigilant, maintaining preparedness and boosting national resistance.
The Iranian Defense Ministry on Saturday showcased its recent technological achievements, including a domestically-made jet, named Kowsar, designed for training purposes and other items.
A tactical drone, dubbed Mohajer-6, the Nasir anti-ship cruise missile, Fakur air-to-air missile and the Qaher F-313 fighter jet were also put on display.
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the production of the Qaher F-313 and Kowsar jets was “a prelude to the production of heavy aircraft.”
He further announced plans to domestically manufacture heavy jet engines.
Iran’s defense gains, massive backing for diplomatic efforts: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic’s achievements in the defense sector provides “huge support” for the country’s dignified diplomatic endeavors.
Zarif made the comment on his official Instagram account on Saturday after paying a “three-hour visit” to the exhibition of Iran’s achievements in defense industries.
He said the Iranian Armed Forces and defense experts showed that “through exemplary self-belief in the face of foreign pressure and sanctions and by relying on national capabilities, might and know-how” can manufacture various types of defense equipment, “from advanced fighters to tanks and from the most advanced radars to the most effective air defense systems.”
They are also “strongly safeguarding the territorial integrity of beloved Iran,” the top Iranian diplomat added.
Iran has recently made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and hardware.
The Islamic Republic says its military power poses no threat to other countries and is merely based on the doctrine of deterrence.
The US and its allies claim that Iran’s missile tests violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the July 2015 nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, the five permanent members of the council plus Germany.
The resolution calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
Iran has, however, repeatedly stressed that its missile program is not a violation of Resolution 2231, adding that its missiles are not manufactured for nuclear-delivery purposes.