Unveiling missile defense system, Iran’s president says talks with US ‘useless’
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Unveiling missile defense system, Iran’s president says talks with US ‘useless’

‘Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic,’ says Rouhani in Tehran speech, amid rising tensions with Washington

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani, left, reviews an honor guard as he is accompanied by his Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami during a ceremony to unveil Iran-made Bavar-373 air-defense missile system, Iran, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani, left, reviews an honor guard as he is accompanied by his Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami during a ceremony to unveil Iran-made Bavar-373 air-defense missile system, Iran, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s president struck a belligerent tone on dealings with the US, saying Thursday that “talks are useless” as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers crumbles further.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made the comment in a speech in Tehran during the unveiling of the Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system that he described as an improvement to the Russian S-300 missile defense batteries.

“Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic,” Rouhani said in the televised speech.

He added: “When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: ‘Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people. Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air.'”

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iran-made Bavar-373 air-defense missile system is seen after being unveiled by President Hassan Rouhani, Iran, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

On Wednesday, Iran’s state TV reported that the Bavar-373 is able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons.

Since 1992, Iran has developed a homegrown defense industry that has produced light and heavy weapons ranging from mortars and torpedoes to tanks and submarines.

The US re-imposed sanctions on Iran after the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal last year over concerns about Iran’s missile program and regional influence.

US President Donald Trump argued that the accord did not limit Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Earlier this month, Iran unveiled three new precision-guided missiles, with its defense minister saying they show that the country is ready to defend itself in the face of US “viciousness and conspiracies.”

In this September 24, 2017 file photo, surface-to-surface missiles and a portrait of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed by the Revolutionary Guard. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The new lineup of air-to-air missiles dubbed the “Yasin,” “Balaban” and a new series of the “Ghaem” were developed jointly by the ministry and Sa Iran, also known as Iran Electronics Industries.

They were unveiled amid tensions between Iran and the US and its allies in the Strait of Hormuz — a vital corridor linking oil producing countries in the Middle East to markets in Asia, Europe and North America.

Last month, Iran was said to have tested the Shahab-3, a medium-range ballistic missile that is widely believed to be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

Iran has maintained its missile program is for defense purposes only and rejected negotiations over it.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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