Iran Says Sanctions 'Have No Effect'
Iran's defense minister claimed Sunday his country's missile progress demonstrates UN sanctions are ineffective and won't stop Tehran's military initiatives, Gulf News reports.
The statement by General Ahmad Vahidi comes during this year's 10-day "Great Prophet-6" war games, which analysts say is Iran's latest show of military might.
Tehran, who are billing the war games as a 'sign of peace for the region,' claim they have demonstrated growing self-sufficiency in military and other technologies.
Vahidi said Iran's missile program is "indigenous" and has no reliance on foreign countries to meet its defence requirements.
Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or atomic weapons.
Last week, Iran unveiled underground missile silos for the first time, making Iran's arsenal less vulnerable to attack.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the regime's most powerful and reliable military force, said the Islamic Republic has the ability to produce missiles with a greater range than those currently in its arsenal, but doesn't need to do so.
The upgraded version of Iran's Shahab-3 and Sajjil-2 missiles already can travel up to 2,000 kilometers — putting Israel, US bases in the Gulf region and parts of Europe within reach.
"The war games ... show Iran's great capability in designing, producing and using various kinds of missiles based on domestic knowledge.
"This shows that the sanctions imposed had no effect on Iran's missile program," Vahidi said in comments posted on sepahnews.com, the Guard's official website.
Internet in suitcase
Iran has periodically boasted of what it calls homegrown advances in technological sectors such as its satellite program and other scientific work, but these are often panned by foreign analysts.
In a separate statement, Iran's telecommunications minister, Reza Taqipour, said Iran is taking technical measures to combat the so-called "Internet in a suitcase," a program reportedly developed by the US to bring online access to dissidents around the world.
Taqipour was quoted by state media as saying that the program is part of a "cultural invasion" by Iran's enemies aimed at promoting dissent and undermining Iran's ruling system.
Taqipour's comments on stanching dissent come as Iran tries to present itself as a human rights crusader, saying it will try 26 US officials in absentia for 'violating human rights.'