World

Iran's missile plans to go on 'with full power'

TEHERAN: A defiant Iran vowed to press ahead with its missile programme and condemned new US sanctions, as tensions rise after the West hardened its tone against the Islamic republic.

In the latest incident, Teheran and Washington accused each other's naval forces of provocative manoeuvres in the Gulf that culminated in a US helicopter firing warning flares.

The US Navy said it had reacted to unresponsive vessels belonging to the Revolutionary Guards closing in on American ships at high speed, a charge denied by Iran, which described the US move as unprovoked.

On the political front, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Teheran condemned new US sanctions against its missile programme, which US President Donald Trump is set to sign into law, and vowed to press on.

"We will continue with full power our missile programme," Mr Ghasemi said. "We consider the action by the US as hostile, reprehensible and unacceptable, and it is ultimately an effort to weaken the nuclear deal."

He was referring to the 2015 agreement between Iran and US-led world powers that lifted some sanctions on Teheran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

"The military and missile fields... are our domestic policies and others have no right to intervene or comment on them," Mr Ghasemi said.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urged Muslims worldwide to take a tough stance against the "villainy" of US and Israel. - AFP

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