ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Those who use threatening language against Iran will regret it, said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in reference to recent threats from the new US administration following Iran’s ballistic missile test weeks ago. Rouhani’s landmark nuclear deal with western powers including the US is at stake.
Rouhani made the remarks at a rally commemorating the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution against the then US-backed Shah government.
Hundreds of thousands attended the annual rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square where the president delivered a speech. Similar rallies were held elsewhere in the country in response to a call from the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who asked Iranian people to come out in the millions to show their support for the country against what he called the “true face” of the US.
“This turnout is a response to false remarks of the new White House rulers and the people are telling the world through their presence that the Iranian people must be spoken to with respect and dignity,” Rouhani said.
“The Iranian nation has shown during the past 38 years that it will make anyone who speaks to Iranians with the language of threats regret it,” the president warned.
The United States announced new economic sanctions against Iran earlier in the month, block assets and prohibiting Americans from doing business with 12 companies and 13 individuals. The sanctions were imposed less than a week after Tehran test-fired a ballistic missile on January 29.
Reacting to the weapon test, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Iran is playing with fire — they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”
The White House said that Trump has not taken any options off the table, including military.
Tehran has maintained that its missile program is for self-defense only and does not violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that “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.”
The UN Security Council met two days after the launch, but no immediate actions were announced.
In December, the United States extended its sanctions against Iran, originally imposed in 1996, until 2026.
Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan denied US media reports this week that it had conducted a second missile test.
10 February 2017