Iran's military capability is no weaker as a result of signing a nuclear deal with western nations, President Hassan Rouhani said on Iranian state television today.
In response to criticism from some Iranian hardliners that he bowed down too easily to US and European demands, Rouhani said:
With regards to our defensive capability, we did not and will not accept any limitations. We will do whatever we need to do to defend our country, whether with missiles or other methods.
On 14 July, Iran reached an agreement with the P5+1 – China, the US, UK, France, Russia and Germany – to curb its uranium enrichment in return for economic sanctions relief.
It will now have a maximum of 5,060 centrifuges across the country, each with enrichment capped at 3.67 per cent – way below the level required to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran has consistently denied attempts to build nuclear weapons.
In return, much of Iran's trade with other world powers will be revived, although there is still an embargo on conventional arms trade, preventing Iran from exporting or importing weapons for the next five years.
As an example of Iran's continuing dedication to its defence and military capabilities, last week it unveiled a new surface-to-surface missile, capable of striking with an accuracy of within 500km of the target.