Iran must boost defense capabilities

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TEHRAN: Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has stressed the strengthening of Iran’s defense capabilities in the face of enemy threats.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with eulogists on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad’s (Saw) daughter Hazrat Fatema Zahra on Wednesday.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that Iran needs to have boosted its defensive military capabilities in order to strengthen its position in potential negotiations.

“If the Islamic establishment seeks technology and negotiations but does have defensive power, it will have to back down in the face of any petty country that threatens [Iran],” he said.

“That they say the future of the world is one of negotiation and not one of missiles, if that is said out of ignorance, well it is ignorance, but if it’s said knowingly, it is treason,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“The Islamic Republic must use all tools,” the he said, adding, “I am not opposed to political dialog, not with everyone of course. I am fine with political dialog on the level of global issues. These are times of both missiles and negotiations.”

Ayatollah’s remarks come as the United States and some of their European allies are seeking a meeting at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Iran’s recent missile tests, which they claim were carried out in defiance of a UNSC resolution.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s UN Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, the US, Britain, France, and Germany have reportedly called for discussions on an “appropriate response” by the UNSC to Iran’s missile tests.

In their joint letter, the four countries claimed that the missiles used in Iran’s recent tests were “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and were “inconsistent with” and “in defiance of” UNSC Resolution 2231 adopted last July to endorse a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

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