After the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impose new sanctions on Iran for its continued ballistic missile program, Iran’s president announced it would keep building the weapons, which are capable of delivering nuclear warheads.
“To defend our nation and territorial integrity, we will build all the weapons we will need,” said Hassan Rouhani, speaking to the Iranian parliament.
Rouhani insisted that the missiles could only deliver conventional weapons, however, ballistic missiles are primarily used for nuclear weapons.
The Iranian president also claimed that the missile program does not violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231, but the U.S. and France disagree.
The new sanctions, which passed almost unanimously, comes after U.S. President Donald Trump did not certify the nuclear deal in mid-October and instead instructed Congress to address the deal’s flaws.
To become law, the bill will need to pass the Senate and be signed by the president.
The House vote on the new “Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act” also instructs the president to report to Congress on which Iranian and international companies are contributing to advancing Iran’s ballistic missile program and to impose sanctions on them.
The House recently passed new sanctions on the terrorist group Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese proxy. They also called upon Europe to follow America’s lead and designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
The vote follows the imposition of other new sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department after slapping a new terror designation on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the recognized terror arm of the Iranian government.
In other news, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi not to disband the Iranian-backed Shiite militia, Hashd al-Shaabi, which is operating in Iraq.
The militia has been instrumental in helping the Iraqi government retake areas of Kurdish Iraq in the aftermath of a recent Kurdish referendum for independence that passed by 93 percent.
Kurds fear a potential genocide at the hands of the brutal militia.
“The presence of the Hashd al-Shaabi is necessary until the end of all security problems in Iraq,” Khamenei reportedly told Abadi. “The Hashd al-Shaabi must not be dissolved.”