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Rouhani Says Iran Has Right to Develop Missiles, Expands Program

by Reuters /  / Updated 

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Iran President Hassan Rouhani ordered his defense minister on Thursday to expand Iran's missile program, in response to a U.S. threat to impose sanctions over a ballistic missile test Iran carried out in October.

"As the U.S. government is clearly still pursuing its hostile policies and illegal meddling ... the armed forces need to quickly and significantly increase their missile capability," Rouhani wrote in a letter to Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, published on the state news agency IRNA.

A senior administration official told NBC News the U.S. has been weighing options "related to Iran's ballistic missile program based on our continued concerns about its activities."

The official said no determination had been made and that the administration was keeping Congress "informed about issues related to Iran sanctions."

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