President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would make or buy any weapons it needed to defend itself in a region beset by “invading powers”, as the military paraded missiles and soldiers in front of him on National Army Day.
Fighter jets and bombers flew overhead as Rouhani told the Tehran crowd and a live TV audience yesterday that Iran’s forces posed no threat to its neighbours.
“We tell the world that we will produce or acquire any weapons we need, and will not wait for their approval...We tell our neighbouring countries that our weapons are not against you, it’s for deterrence,” Rouhani said.
“We are not living in a normal region, and we see invading powers have built bases around us. Disregarding the principles of international law, they intervene in regional affairs and invade other countries without UN permission,” Rouhani added. US, British and French forces pounded Iran’s ally Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in retaliation for a suspected April 7 chemical weapons attack, which they blame on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
US sanctions will resume against Iran unless Trump issues fresh “waivers” to suspend them on May 12.
EU edges closer to new Tehran sanctions ahead of Trump deadline: envoys
European Union governments are showing more support for the idea of new sanctions on Iran proposed by Britain, France and Germany as a way of dissuading US President Donald Trump from pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, diplomats say. London, Paris and Berlin angered their EU partners in March when they tried to move quickly with a proposal to impose sanctions on 15 senior Iranian officials, military figures and companies, before a May 12 deadline set by Trump. But assurances from US government officials that such sanctions could influence Trump, who has given Europe until next month to “fix” what he says is “the worst deal ever negotiated”, as well as a less confrontational approach by London, Paris and Berlin, appear to be winning other EU members over. Diplomats also said EU governments were under more pressure to protest against Iran’s role in Syria’s civil war following an April 7 suspected chemical weapons attack. “It’s not a ‘done deal’ but several states have dropped their resistance,” one diplomat said, citing Spain, Austria and Sweden which had recently joined a majority in favour. Following meetings in Washington, Luxembourg and Brussels over the past week, Britain, France and Germany have agreed to take a more consensual approach to winning over the other 25 EU governments, which must all agree to the measures, envoys said.
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