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February 2, 2017 12:29 pm

Iran Pushes Back Against Trump Administration Warning, Vows to Continue Ballistic Missile Program

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Islamic Republic will “vigorously continue with its missile activity,” a top Iranian official declared on Thursday — a day after the Trump administration put Tehran “on notice” — the regime-aligned Tasnim news agency reported.

According to the report, Ali Akbar Velayti — a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — said Iran “needs no permission from any country for defending itself” and “pays no attention to American threats.”

Furthermore, Tasnim said, Velayti “urged” new US President Donald Trump to “stop the hollow anti-Iran rhetoric.”

Reuters quoted Velayti as saying, “This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran … the American government will understand that threatening Iran is useless.”

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Trump on Thursday tweeted, “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!”

In a follow-up tweet, the president said, “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the semi-official state news agency Fars reported, the Iranian Parliament said, “We, as representatives of the great nation of the Islamic Iran, announce our all-out support for the armed forces…and strengthening the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense power within the framework of deterrence strategy as an inevitable necessity for the country’s national security.”

Also on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized the controversial travel ban executive order issued by Trump last week.

“These are the newcomers who were not in the world of politics and they were in another world and they have now come to the world of politics and they inflict harm on themselves and others in a fully new atmosphere until they, themselves, and the people around them understand what is going on in the world,” Rouhani said, according to Fars. “They (the US administration) chanted slogans for years that we are against the Iranian government but support the Iranian people, (but) since this person (Trump) is a special person, he revealed this hypocrisy and displayed what is in their hearts. He took measures which merely target a number of our dear citizens or Muslims and people in other countries.”

In addition to firing a medium-range ballistic missile last Sunday, Iran also tested a nuclear-capable “Sumar” cruise missile, Reuters reported, citing the German Die Welt newspaper.

As reported by The Algemeiner, US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn addressed reporters at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, saying, “Recent Iranian actions involving a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the entire Middle East.”

“The recent ballistic missile launch,” Flynn continued, “is also in defiance of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which 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. These are just the latest of a series of incidents in the past six months, in which Houthi forces that Iran has trained and armed have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels, and threatened US and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea. In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten US friends and allies in the region.”

“The Obama administration,” Flynn stated, “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions — including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms. The Trump administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place American lives at risk.”

Flynn went on to say, “President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama administration, as well as the United Nations — as being weak and ineffective. Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened.”

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn concluded.

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