Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency / Hossein Zohrevand / Wikimedia
Iranian Khorramshahr ballistic missile, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles)

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced Thursday it is accelerating the country’s ballistic missile program, despite pressure to suspend it, being imposed on Tehran by the United States and the European Union.

Iran, which has one of the most advanced military ballistic missile programs in the region, maintains the program is a defensive one.

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“Iran’s ballistic missile program will expand and it will continue with more speed in reaction to [U.S. President Donald] Trump’s hostile approach towards this revolutionary organization (the Guards),” the IRGC said in a statement published by semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“Trump’s anxiety and trembling voice in his speech [last Friday] was a sign of beginning of the era of failure for America’s hegemony,” IRGC chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, according to Tasnim.

“Boosting Iran’s defense power remains our top priority.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the weekly government cabinet meeting this past Sunday by urging the international community to seize the opportunity created by President Trump’s refusal to recertify the JCPOA nuclear agreement.

Netanyahu said Trump’s decision “created an opportunity to amend the nuclear agreement and to stop the growing Iranian aggression in our region. . . every responsible government and anyone who wants to promote peace and security in the world should take advantage of the opportunity that President Trump’s decision created in order to improve the agreement or cancel it, and of course to stop the Iranian aggression as well.

“Of course, the president’s decision to impose sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards must be supported as well,” Netanyahu added, noting the IRGC is used by Tehran to spread terror around the world, and particularly in the Middle East.

Iran has been working intensively to establish a permanent military presence in the territory of its ally, Syria, across Israel’s northern border. It has also been sharing its technology, wealth and weaponry with Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations, all of whom are local to Israel and are dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish State, as is Tehran.

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