Iran's Missile Program Is Israel's Main Challenge, Revolutionary Guards Say

Statement mentions U.S. and Saudis as enemies of Iranian nation, says 'increasing defensive capabilities will remain the main strategy of the armed forces'

A Ghadr H surface-to-surface ballistic missile is displayed by Iran's Revolutionary Guard in an annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, in Tehran, Iran. June 23, 2017
Vahid Salemi/AP

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Wednesday it will continue increasing the country’s defensive capabilities, and will not surrender to pressure over its missile program.

“(Iran’s) missile program has turned into the main challenge of the enemies of the Iranian nation, especially the United States, the Zionist regime (of Israel) and the Saudi rulers," the IRGC said in a statement carried by the Tasnim news agency. “Increasing defensive capabilities will remain the main strategy of the armed forces.”

>> Why Iran Thinks It Has an ‘Insurance Policy’ Against an Israeli or U.S. Strike | Analysis ■ Israel's Threat Against Iran: How Netanyahu and Barak Stoked a War Scare to Pressure the U.S.

Also Wednesday, senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami warned Washington that if it attacked Iran, it would be targeted along with its ally, Israel.

Khatami also told worshippers attending Eid prayers in Tehran that U.S. President Donald Trump's offer of talks with Iranian leaders was unacceptable, as the U.S. leader wanted Tehran to concede on its missile program and regional influence. 

"Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks. So this is not negotiation, but dictatorship. The Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation would stand up against dictatorship," Khatami was quoted as saying by Mizan news agency.