Khamenei says war unlikely, but calls for boosting defense capacities

Iran supreme leader's comments come after increasing tensions surrounding future of nuclear accord.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009 (photo credit: REUTERS/CAREN FIROUZ)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009
(photo credit: REUTERS/CAREN FIROUZ)
DUBAI- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday war was unlikely but called on Iran's armed forces to boost their defense capacities, according to his official website.

On Saturday, Iran announced plans to boost its ballistic and cruise missile capacity and acquire modern fighter planes and submarines to boost its defenses as the country faces increased tension with the United States following the US pullout from Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers.

"Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that based on political calculations there is no likelihood of a military war but added that the armed forces must be vigilant ... and raise their personnel and equipment capacities," the website quoted Khamenei as telling commanders of Iran's air defense forces.

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Saturday's news of the military development plans came a day after Iran dismissed a French call for negotiations on Tehran's future nuclear plans, its ballistic missile arsenal and its role in wars in Syria and Yemen.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last month the Islamic Republic's military prowess was what deterred Washington from attacking it.