Iran to continue arms buildup

Iranian minister: We will keep producing missiles to "confront any offense."

Iran's defense minister said Thursday his country would continue producing missiles to "confront any offense" against its territory.
"We will continue both research and development and production of missiles as part of our current trend of activities," said Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Iran's defense minister, at a meeting in Tehran with his Syrian counterpart, Hassan Turkemani.
"If we feel that we are going to be threatened from a single side, then we should find a solution," he said. "We should be ready to confront any offense," he added, without elaborating on where or from whom an attack might come.
Najjar's comments came as Iran and Syria signed a memorandum of understanding in which both agreed to confront tension and insecurity in the region. They also announced the formation of a joint Supreme Defense Commission, but did not give details on its mission.
Iran already possesses Shahab-3 missiles, which have a range of 1,200 miles - capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching Israel and US bases in the Middle East.
Israel and the United States have jointly developed the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, which could intercept Iran's Shahab-3 missiles.
During war games in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea in April, Iran test-fired what it called an "ultra-horizon" missile that could be fired from military helicopters and jet fighters, and two other new missiles and torpedoes.
The US said then that Iran may have made "some strides" in its military but was likely exaggerating its capabilities.
Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.