Iranian brigadier general states country will continue ballistic missile development programme despite US sanctions

Francesca Washtell
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Annual Army Day Military Parade
Iran's surface-to-surface Ghasedak missile at the annual army day military parade in 2008 (Source: Getty)

An Iranian military commander has claimed Iran will continue to develop ballistic missiles, despite the US introducing sanctions on companies linked to the scheme.

"Even if they build a wall around Iran, our missile programme will not stop," brigadier general Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency, according to Reuters.

"They are trying to frighten our officials with sanctions and invasion. This fear is our biggest threat," added the commander, who leads the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp's (IRGC) aerospace arm.

The IRGC drew criticism from Western governments after it tested several ballistic missiles in March.

Last Thursday the US placed sanctions on two Iranian companies, Shahid Nuri Industries and Shahid Movahead Industries, after it claimed they were working for Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group. The US believes the latter company is responsible for Iran's ballistic missile programme.

Despite the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Iran in January, in the same month the US imposed sanctions over 11 companies and individuals linked to the missile programme after a further ballistic missile test.

Iran has most recently provoked the ire of oil-producing nations by insisting it will continue to increase supply. Saudi Arabia and other Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) members have said they will forge ahead with a deal on 17 April to freeze production despite Iran's vows to continue.

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