Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements, President Hassan Rouhani declared on Sunday, according to Reuters.
Rouhani's comments, in a speech broadcast on state television, came days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted for new sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile program, part of an effort to clamp down on Tehran without immediately moving to undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement.
“We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements,” Rouhani declared, according to Reuters.
In recent months, Iran has several times test-fired ballistic missiles, raising the ire of the West.
Iran rejects the notion that its tests violate the nuclear deal it signed in 2015 or UN Resolution 2231, which bars the Islamic Republic from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years.
The United States has already imposed sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate the UN resolution.
Rouhani on Sunday also criticized the United States over Trump’s refusal this month to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the accord on Iran’s nuclear program.
“You are disregarding past negotiations and agreements approved by the UN Security council and expect others to negotiate with you?” he charged.
“Because of the behavior it has adopted, America should forget any future talks and agreement with other countries,” Rouhani added, referring to unnamed countries in East Asia, an apparent reference to North Korea.
Trump’s decision not to certify Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers means Congress now has less than 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the agreement.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Tehran will stick to the agreement as long as the other signatories do, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.