London, 4 Aug – On Thursday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader criticized the new U.S. sanctions on Tehran that were signed by President Donald Trump the previous day. Khamenei vowed that Iran will continue its missile program despite international pressure. “The response to the hostility is to become stronger,” he said, and called the U.S. government “the top aggressor and the most shameless” enemy of Iran.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the formal endorsement of President Hassan Rouhani for his second term in office, Khamenei said that Washington will “use any excuse to make a fuss” against Iran, and added, ”You launch a satellite-carrying missile, they make noise,” he said, and described the Iranian launch as a “scientific and technical job that is routine and necessary.” Khamenei continued, ”Some have sharply applied hostility (against Iran), like those who today are in office in the U.S.”
The law also imposed new sanctions on Russia and North Korea.
The United States and three Western allies called Iran’s recent launch of a satellite-carrying rocket “a threatening and provocative step” that is “inconsistent” with a U.N. resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, according to a letter they sent to the U.N. Security Council. The U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom denounced the Simorgh space launch vehicle, saying that if configured as a ballistic missile, it would have the range and “payload capacity to carry a nuclear warhead.”
Last week, Iran launched an advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space, which was a significant step forward for their space program.
The 2015 nuclear deal only put caps on its uranium enrichment program. Iran maintains that he Security Council resolution endorsing that deal does not ban ballistic missile activity. One of the five world powers who brokered the deal, Russia, agrees with Tehran.
Tehran has officially complained to the U.N. Security Council over the latest U.S. sanctions, Ali Larijani Iran’s Parliament Speaker, announced on Tuesday.
At the ceremony, which was broadcast live on state TV, Khamenei said that Iran should continue to stand powerful in the face of its enemies. “International engagement should not lead to ignoring hostility of the enemies,” Khamenei said. He added that “despite all the sanctions and enmities, the Islamic Republic is stronger” than before.
Rouhani, said the nuclear deal has been a sign of “good faith” by Iran and that it brought the nation respite from U.N. sanctions. “Transition from the most difficult sanctions was achieved through a combination of the power of diplomacy and deterrent defensive power,” said Rouhani. He said that in his second term in office, Iran will “insist on constructive engagement with the world more than before.” Rouhani will be formally sworn into office in parliament, on Saturday.
Abbas Araghchi, foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator, was quoted on Thursday, as saying that Iran will come up with a “smart” reaction to the last U.S. sanctions by the state TV website. He reiterated Iran’s stance that the U.S. legislation signed by Trump amounts to a “hostile” breach of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. He added that Tehran has prepared measures that Iran would take against the U.S. action.
The U.S. legislation imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as those who do business with them. An arms embargo will be enforced and Iran’s prestigious Revolutionary Guard will face terrorism sanctions.