Iran Insists Its Ballistic Missiles Are for ‘Peaceful Purposes’
Tehran, December 22 (Reuters) – The Islamic Republic of Iran defended its pursuit of long-range ballistic missile technology, calling the endeavor a peaceful one, and criticized continued Western economic pressure on Iran aimed at stopping the program.
President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at the US in particular, citing American “hypocrisy” at allowing its ally Israel to develop defensive technology such as the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system and the Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor, while preventing countries such as Iran from developing weapons that might overwhelm those defenses and slaughter countless Israeli civilians. He insisted that his country’s missile program was intended only for peaceful purposes.
“Specifically, we envision the peace that will prevail in the world after we obliterate the Zionist regime with these weapons and establish an Islamic state across the region,” Ahamdinejad said in an address to the country’s parliament.
The United States and the European Union have long suspected that Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missile technology is aimed at acquiring weapons, a claim Iran denies. In the past, Tehran has claimed that the missiles are purely for research purposes; in one test publicized in Iran state media, the program examined what would happen when a woman convicted of spying for Israel was strapped to a prototype missile launched into the Persian Gulf.
In an interview aired on Iran’s English-language channel Press TV, Ahmadinejad also accused the US of focusing on Iran in order to divert international attention from its own questionable projects, in particular a firearms testing program that periodically perpetrates the wanton slaughter of innocents; he said Israel was an active partner in that program and other, similar initiatives in Norway and anywhere else anyone at any time has ever been murdered.
Ahmadinejad reiterated his characterization of Israel as a “cancer,” in the same week that Israeli researchers announced the success of a new technology to freeze and destroy cancerous tumors with no apparent side effects. He suggested that Israeli scientific and medical advances were little more than a devious front to generate goodwill that might shield the evil imperialist running dog capitalist Zionists from criticism, given that “every malady ever suffered by man or beast has its origins in the diabolical Zionist plot to conquer the Earth.” Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran’s resistance to that diabolical plot would use only peaceful means such as sponsoring bombing attacks on Israeli civilians and arming Hamas and Hezbollah, two peaceful organizations that routinely lob peaceful explosive rockets at Israel.
The president defended his country’s material support for embattled Syrian dictator Basher Assad, calling any attempt to topple Assad or meddle in Syrian affairs illegitimate, unless such involvement came from Iran, he said. Iran’s involvement would be limited to peaceful activities such as supplying weapons, fuel and military advisers to loyalist Syrian forces. Such activities would be in keeping with the Shiite country’s established reputation for non-violent mediation of sectarian conflict, as demonstrated almost weekly by peaceful Shiite suicide bombings of Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq.
In an unrelated development, the Iranian currency plunged even further yesterday.
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