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Iranian General To US: See You On The Battlefield

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

The deputy chief of staff for Iran’s military said the country’s response to new U.S. missile sanctions will come “on the real battlefield.”

Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri claimed Tuesday that diplomatic relations will not hinder Iran’s military advances and that the Islamic Republic is ready to build its defenses in an effort to counter any potential threats. Jazayeri’s comments come after an announcement Sunday that the U.S. will apply new sanctions on several actors supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program.

“Upgrading the country’s defense and missile equipment is among the Armed Forces’ priorities and its process will not stop even for a moment,” said Jazayeri, according to Iran’s Press TV.

He went on to note that U.S. attempts to use diplomatic measures like sanctions are a “new strategy” to undermine the Islamic Republic. He claimed Iran’s response will come “on the real battlefield.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Iran’s lead negotiator during 2015’s Iran nuclear deal, also condemned the new round of sanctions. “We believe these sanctions are uncalled for. We believe the sanctions are illegal. They violate basic principles. The Iranian missile program is a legitimate defense program,” Zarif told the Associated Press Wednesday. Zarif is currently in Davos, Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum.

“It shows that the United States has an addiction which has been very difficult for it to overcome,” Zarif continued. “Its addiction to pressure, addiction to coercion, addiction to sanctions.”

President Barack Obama announced the new sanctions in December as a response to two missile tests conducted by Iran in October and December 2015. Iran has claimed that any new sanctions are violations of July’s nuclear agreement, which went into effect this weekend. The U.S., however, claims it still has the right to sanction Iran on issues unrelated to nuclear activities.

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