TEHRAN, July 17. /TASS/. Iran’s missile program is defensive and cannot be the subject of any negotiations whatsoever, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said on Monday.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran's missile power is defensive and is never negotiable at any level," the news agency Fars quoted the general as saying.
Also, putting the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which is the elite component of Iran’s Armed Forces, in the same class with terrorist groups and imposing similar sanctions against the IRGC "poses a major risk to the US, its bases and forces deployed in the region," General Baqeri said as he addressed an IRGC commanders' forum in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces also called erroneous the US sanctions policy.
It "will only strengthen Iran’s resolve to counter despotism and develop with reliance on internal capabilities," the Iranian general said.
The US Senate passed a bill on June 15 to impose new sanctions against Iran over its missile program. The document specifically stipulates imposing sanctions against persons who have relation to or are providing assistance to Iran’s program for developing ballistic missiles or mass destruction weapons. The bill separately envisages sanctions against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and foreign persons cooperating with it.
The same bill includes a provision on toughening sanctions against Russia.