Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that missiles were key to the Islamic Republic’s progress and future.
Khamenei made these remarks addressing a meeting with a number of religious panegyrists on March 30.
Offering support to the hardline Revolutionary Guards that have drawn criticism from the West for conducted ballistic missile tests earlier this month, Khamenei said,”Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors.”
Khamenei supported last year’s nuclear deal with world powers and also called for Iran to avoid further rapprochement with the United States and its allies, and maintain its economic and military strength.
“If the Islamic Republic seeks negotiations but has no defensive power, it would have to back down against threats from any weak country.”
The U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted two Iranian companies, cutting them off from international finance over their connection to the missile programme after Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corpstest-fired several ballistic missiles this month.
Iran said they will will pursue its development of ballistic missiles despite the U.S. blacklisting of more Iranian companies linked to the programme, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander said