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Rouhani Pledges to Keep Producing Missiles

Rouhani Pledges to Keep Producing Missiles

Monday, 30 October, 2017 - 08:15
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani, right, speaks with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano, left, during their meeting, in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 29, 2017. AP

President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech in parliament on Sunday that Iran will continue to produce ballistic missiles and does not consider that a violation of international accords.

"We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements," Rouhani said in the speech broadcast on state television.

This was Rouhani’s first speech since US President Donald Trump announced on October 13 that he would not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

And on Thursday, Congress passed new sanctions in response to Iran's ballistic missiles program.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 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.

In his speech, Rouhani also criticized the United States over Trump's refusal to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the 2015 accord on Iran's nuclear program, even though international inspectors say it is.

Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), met Rouhani, President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday, an IAEA statement said.

"Director General Amano reiterated that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran are being implemented, and that the JCPOA represents a clear gain from a verification point of view," it said, using an abbreviation for the 2015 accord.

"For the future, he stressed the importance of full implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments in order to make the JCPOA sustainable."

According to Reuters, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has pressed the IAEA to seek access to Iranian military bases to ensure that they are not concealing activities banned by the nuclear deal.

Asked whether Amano had made any requests for new inspections, Salehi said after meeting Amano: "He has no request in this area," Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.

Salehi said Iran could resume production of 20 percent enriched uranium in four days, but did not want the Iran deal to fall apart.

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