Newly elected Iranian president says launches are ‘for peace,’ calls US president’s speech to Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia ‘just a show’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests, which would continue “if technically necessary.”
“Our missiles are for our defense and for peace, they are not offensive. Know that while there is a technical need to conduct missile tests, we will do so and we will ask the permission of no one,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran, following renewed criticism from US President Donald Trump.
The Islamic Republic has continued to test-fire ballistic missiles, including with explicit threats to attack Israel, since the Iran nuclear deal was clinched in 2015. The missile launches have been condemned by the Trump administration and Israel.
Upon his arrival to Israel on Monday from Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia, Trump vowed that the Islamic Republic would never obtain nuclear weapons.
“The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon — never ever — and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias,” Trump said.
“And it must cease immediately.”
While in Saudi Arabia, Trump accused Iran of fueling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror” while calling for its international isolation.
Rouhani on Monday dismissed his Trump’s summit with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia this weekend as “just a show. ”…