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Khameini: Iran’s future needs missiles; treasonous to only suggest dialogue

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TEHRAN, March 30 (UPI) — Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said missiles are necessary for the future of the Islamist republic.

Khamenei’s remarks follow comments by former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate political leader who last week said Iran’s “future is in dialogue, not missiles.”

Khamenei in October approved of the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action U.S.-led nuclear agreement, but in September warned that no further negotiations would take place with the United States.

“In talks we must be strong and negotiate in a way not to be deceived,” Khamenei said Wednesday. “When we deal on paper but sanctions remain and there’s no trade [it] means something is wrong.”

The recent comments by Khamenei support the hardline Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which has launched ballistic missile tests that could lead to international sanctions being enacted against Iran.

“If Islamic system seeks technology and negotiations, but lacks defensive power, it should withdraw vis-à-vis any tiny country’s threats. That some inside say [tomorrow’s] world is of negotiation, not world of missiles, if said unwarily, it’s unawareness; otherwise it’s treason,” Khamenei said, likely referring to Rafsanjani. “Islamic Republic must use all means. I support political talks in global issues, but not with everyone. Today is era of both missile and talk.”

Khamenei has gone so far as calling the United States the “Great Satan,” echoing anti-American sentiments from former Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

“Some people insist on disguising this Great Satan as the savior angel,” Khamenei said soon after the nuclear negotiation was confirmed. “The Iranian nation expelled this Satan; we must not allow that when we expelled it through the door, it could return and gain influence through the window.”

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