1132 GMT February 19, 2019
“We have never pursued an invasive view and what we are doing is [based on] upgrading our country’s defensive capability,” Dehqan said on Monday.
He stressed that Iran's military doctrine is defensive and is aimed at ensuring the country’s security.
“Security and development of the region are intertwined and our defense might guarantees this issue,” the Iranian minister pointed out.
Dehqan further slammed propaganda campaign spearheaded by the US and Saudi Arabia against Iran’s defense power and its missile tests.
“The Americans and the Saudis are trying to spread a climate of turmoil and tension in the region and have put so-called Iranophobia top on their agenda and attribute any event to this issue,” he said.
He added that extra-regional powers that are present in the Middle East are justifying their presence by claim that every development poses a threat to them.
Iran has never cast a covetous eye on any country and has even been instrumental in regional stability, he said, adding, “Those who are raising such issues are overlooking maneuvers [staged] by the US on a daily basis and Saudi Arabia’s purchase of long-range missiles.”
Dehqan further dismissed an earlier report that the country has recently test-fired a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers.
“We have had no missile test with a range published in media,” the Iranian defense minister said.
Tasnim News Agency had earlier on Monday quoted Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi as saying that, “Two weeks ago, we tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and an error margin of eight meters.”
Iran regularly conducts ballistic missile tests in a demonstration of the country's deterrent power. Tehran has repeatedly announced that such tests do not violate the last July’s nuclear agreement between Iran and six global powers and are not in breach of a United Nations Security Council resolution, which endorsed the deal.
However, the United States and several European countries claim that the missile tests violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – last year and the Security Council resolution. They have sought to pressure Iran into halting them.
The resolution calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
Iran emphasized that its missiles serve defensive and deterrent purposes.