TEHERAN (AP/REUTERS) – Iran’s President is striking a muscular tone on dealings with the United States, saying that “talks are useless” as Teheran’s nuclear deal with world powers crumbles further.
President Hassan Rouhani made the comment in a speech on Thursday (Aug 22) in Teheran during the unveiling of the Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system that he described as an improvement to the Russian S-300.
“Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic,” Mr Rouhani said in the televised speech.
He added: “When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: ‘Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people. Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air.”’
On Wednesday, Iran’s state TV reported that the Bavar-373 is able to recognise up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons.
Since 1992, Iran has developed a homegrown defence industry that has produced light and heavy weapons ranging from mortars and torpedoes to tanks and submarines.
The US re-imposed sanctions on Iran after the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal over concerns about Iran’s missile programme and regional influence.
Iran shot down a US Global Hawk drone with a surface-to-air missile in June for allegedly violating its airspace, which the United States denies.
Meanwhile, Iran is prepared to work on French proposals to salvage the international nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015, its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.
“There are proposals on the table, both from the French and the Iranian side, and we are going to work on those proposals tomorrow,” he said at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.
French President Emmanuel Macron offered on Wednesday to either soften sanctions on Iran or provide “a compensation mechanism to enable the Iranian people to live better”, in return for full compliance with the pact.
Mr Zarif added: “I’m looking forward to having a serious conversation with President Macron about possibilities to move forward.”
He had said on Monday he would meet Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris on Friday.