May 9, 2018 / 2:00 PM / a year ago

Iran can't be threatened militarily: defence minister

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran cannot be militarily threatened by any foreign power, its defence minister said on Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, a day after the United States pulled out of the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

“Today, with attention to the defensive power of our country, we’re in a situation that Islamic Iran cannot be militarily threatened by any foreign power,” Amir Hatami said.

Hatami pointed to Iran’s military role combating “takfiri” fighters in Iraq and Syria as a recent achievement of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces. Officials in predominantly Shi’ite Muslim Iran often refer to Sunni Muslim radicals as “takfiris”.

Hatami said Iran would continue to develop its missile programme. U.S. president Donald Trump cited the lack of any provisions in the Iran nuclear deal to rein in the Islamic Republic’s missile development as one of the reasons why he decided to pull out of the deal.

“We will increase our defensive strength day by day and we will upgrade our missile strength per our schedule to blind the eye of those who wish ill for these people,” Hatami said, according to Fars News.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Jon Boyle

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