News Brief — March 27, 2016
Fars News reports that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says that Iran will augment its missile development program in response to new U.S. sanctions.
The US Treasury Department recently imposed further financial sanctions on Iran following its test firing of upgraded surface to surface missiles.
Speaking to the state TV on Saturday, Zarif said, “We don’t see any limitation for our missile program because it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.”
According to Zarif, President Hassan Rouhani ordered the defence ministry to enhance the country’s missile program. By improving missile accuracy and range, Iran is seen as augmenting its defences by strengthening its power to deter potential aggressors.
The US Department of the Treasury imposed financial sanctions on two more Iranian companies it claims are involved in the country’s missile program.
Washington’s latest move against Tehran was announced on March 24, weeks after the United States imposed similar sanctions on 11 other companies and individuals alleged to be involved in the country’s missile program.
The U.S. claims that the companies are working for an industrial group, which Washington alleges is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Early in March Iran fired several ballistic missiles from locations across the country to test their enhanced range and accuracy. All the missiles tested are thought to have been capable of reaching Israel and it is suspected Israeli attempts to strike at Iran’s nuclear program have thus far been prevented by the prospect of an Iranian missile counter-strike.
Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that the missile tests do not violate the nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries and are not in breach of any United Nations Security Council resolution.