On October 29, President Hassan Rouhani pledged to continue producing missiles and any kind of weapon Iran needs to defend itself. In a televised address from Parliament, he emphasized that Iran’s missile program “does not contradict any international laws,” including U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. The United States has argued, however, that Iran’s missile tests, constitute a violation of the resolution, which calls on Tehran not to develop missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iranian leaders have argued that their missiles are defensive in nature and compensate for their limited air power capability. Rouhani also said the United States is has abandoned its international commitments under the nuclear deal.
Rouhani’s speech came days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously for new sanctions on Tehran’s ballistic missile program. The vote for the “Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act” was 423 to two. The legislation calls on the president to report to Congress on the international supply chain for the program and to sanction Iranian government and foreign entities supporting it. The bill will need to pass the U.S. Senate and be signed by President Trump to become law. The following are excerpts from Rouhani’s speech and a summary of the bill.
President Hassan Rouhani
“Throughout history, one way of interaction between governments and nations has been striking deals and agreements with each other, and this is a part of the history of our country and the entire world; keeping promises and agreements is a universal, trans-religious principle.”
"If a government does not live up to its commitments, it will put its credibility for auction. If a government like the U.S. government states that it is not committed to an important international commitment, and its reason is that the previous administration has been tricked, then what happens with the continuity of the responsibility of the governments?"
"If the United States is considered a regime, this is a commitment of a regime to a great state called the Islamic Republic of Iran; not just Iran, but even five other countries.”
"Being shaky on the previous agreement and inviting the next negotiation is a ridiculous story.”
"If someone makes a commitment and says that I have lived up to my commitments and I will act upon it accurately, so my award is to talk about the second issue, this is something to consider; but whoever violates the very first commitment, it is showing with its behavior that it is not a negotiator.”
"The administration of a country that abandons international commitments of the previous administration is not reliable. Today, the Americans are sending messages of readiness for negotiation to some East Asian countries; are they crazy to negotiate with you? You are explicitly violating your previous agreements and neglecting a U.N. Security Council-approved agreement.”
"Iran has fulfilled its obligations in the nuclear issue, but they say that why Iran, in terms of defensive and military, is powerful and why the countries of the region respect Iran; Iran's popularity in the region is because the United States has done nothing but foster terrorism and disagreement in the region.”
“It is your problem. You have undermined security in Iraq and the stability and security of Afghanistan with your presence in the region; by bringing the terrorists to the region, you have undermined the security of Syria and Lebanon.”
“If you are protesting these issues, we ask you: is the Iranian nation who supports the oppressed in the region against terrorism and separatism not behaving well and you who undermined the security of the region and made the ISIS and Taliban and other terrorist groups, sheltered the MEK (Mujahideen-e Khalq), oppressed the nation of Iran throughout history, and stole the Iranian people's oil platform, do not accept being the aggressor country? You attacked our airliner and repeatedly called the Iranian nation terrorist.”
"The Iranian people have driven the MEK terrorist and other terrorist groups out of the country and brought ISIS (Islamic State) and takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria to their knees.”
"We will build, produce and store any weapon of any kind we need to defend ourselves, our territorial integrity and our nation, and we will not hesitate about it.”
"Understand that we have been building missiles, and will continue to do so and this does not contradict any of international laws and it is not in conflict with Resolution 2231. We will continue to defend our national interests and security with all our might, and the enemies should know that violation of any agreement will be detrimental to them, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will give them a decisive answer.”
—Oct. 29, 2017, in a speech
H.R.1698 - Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act
This bill states that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from undertaking any activity related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
The President shall report to Congress regarding the foreign and domestic supply chain in Iran that supports Iran's ballistic missile program. The report shall identify individuals and companies involved in such activities.
The President shall submit to Congress a determination of whether any Iranian ballistic missile test violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. Such resolution endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and sets out a mechanism to monitor Iranian compliance.
The President shall impose sanctions against: (1) Iranian government agencies involved in ballistic missile development; (2) foreign entities that supply material for, or otherwise facilitate or finance, such efforts; (3) foreign persons or foreign government agencies that import, export, or re-export prohibited arms or related material to or from Iran; and (4) foreign persons or entities that transfer goods or technologies contributing to Iran's ability to acquire or develop ballistic missiles, including launch technology, and destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons.
The President shall investigate potential violations of ballistic missile and conventional weapons sanctions against Iran.
The President shall report to Congress regarding credible information about Iran's violations of arms restrictions and attempts to pursue sanctionable activities.