“Missiles were key to the Islamic Republic’s future”

Iran’s top leader on Wednesday said missiles were key to the Islamic Republic’s future, offering support to the hardline Revolutionary Guards that have drawn criticism from the West for testing ballistic missiles. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported last year’s nuclear deal with world powers but has since called for Iran to avoid further rapprochement with the United States and its allies, and maintain its economic and military strength. “Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors,” Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state, was quoted as saying by his website. “If the Islamic Republic seeks negotiations but has no defensive power, it would have to back down against threats from any weak country.”

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