In defiance to US, Iran unveils latest missile during parade

In defiance to US, Iran unveils latest missile during parade

"By promising to step up Iran's ballistic-missile program, Rouhani seeks to gain support from Iranian hard-liners who have always been critical of the nuclear deal, and who have repeatedly accused him of being soft in worldwide relations".

On Friday, the Iranian armed forces remembered the 1980-1988 war between Iraq and Iran by holding a parade in which Iran's most advanced military power and abilities are showcased.

At the event, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed that the country's military power has been used only in acts of defense, despite what he called the export of deadly weapons by foreign powers to the Middle East.

The move was a direct challenge to President Donald Trump, who in August signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran's ballistic missile programme and anyone who does business with them.

Iran has developed in recent years a large ballistic program that worries the United States but also saudi Arabia, its main rival in the region, european countries, including France, as well as Israel, its sworn enemy.

Speaking a day later, Mr Rouhani said the Iranian people were waiting for an apology from Mr Trump for his "extremely offensive" rhetoric and "unfounded" allegations about Iran. USA officials say such "malign activities" go against the spirit of the 2015 agreement under which Iran won relief from global sanctions in exchange for shelving its nuclear program.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the aerospace division of the elite Revolutionary Guards, said the defense ministry had manufactured the Khorramshahr missile and that it would soon become operational, Tasnim reported. The agency did not provide further information.

Mr. Trump's secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, has said that the Iran nuclear agreement must be changed or the United States would not stick with it. Iran has said the accord is not up for renegotiation. During a meeting with a clerical assembly, Khamenei said such comments "do not come from power, but from anger, desperation and weak-mindedness".

Iranian officials have argued that the measure only applies to missiles specifically created to carry nuclear warheads.

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