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Iran's Hassan Rouhani vows to boost missile defenses despite US criticism

President Hassan Rouhani is determined to strengthen Iran's missile capabilities, brushing aside criticism from the US. Friday's speech to soldiers marked the anniversary of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.

Rouhani insisted that Iran would "strengthen not only our missiles but also our air, land and sea forces," in a speech to the armed forces on Friday on the anniversary of Iran's war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq that began in 1980 and lasted eight years.

"When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission," he added, stressing that the measures were "necessary for deterrence."Donald Trump UN speech: Typical rhetoric raises tensions with North Korea and Iran

The president of the Islamic Republic also showed off a new missile called Khoramshah during a military parade. "The Khoramshahr missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry multiple warheads," the official IRNA news agency quoted Revolutionary Guards aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying.

Nuclear deal non-negotiable

Rouhani also said on Thursday that the nuclear deal agreed with world powers and signed by former US President Barack Obama could not be renegotiated.

Read more: What are Trump's objections to the nuclear deal?

US President Donald Trump said earlier that the deal needed to be improved, which was brushed aside by world leaders.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions. Trump called the deal an "embarrassment" during his first speech at the United Nations on Tuesday.

He also referred to Iran as a "murderous regime" and a "depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos."

Trump is scheduled to report to Congress whether or not Iran is complying with the October 15 deal, and he may use the occasion to declare that the nuclear deal is no longer in the US's national security interest.

ng/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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