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8 Feb, 2020 11:57

‘We turned their pressure into opportunity’: Supreme Leader hails Iranian Air Force built up despite US sanctions

‘We turned their pressure into opportunity’: Supreme Leader hails Iranian Air Force built up despite US sanctions

The US’s “criminal” sanctions didn’t stop Iran from strengthening its own air power and even “building planes,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, as the nation marks the anniversary of 1979’s Islamic Revolution.

The Iranian military industry, Khamenei proclaimed in front of Air Force commanders and other military officials, has become so viable because it didn’t rely on foreign support, instead developing domestic capabilities. This approach could be extended into other industries as well, he said, according to local media.

... Despite sanctions being a criminal act, such an approach can create a lot of opportunities.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also added that Iran is not a threat to any country, but that it seeks to preserve its own security.

The supreme leader spoke as the country celebrated the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which ousted US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi back in February 1979.

Since then, the US has introduced several packages of heavy sanctions, which were temporarily lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal but then re-instated in 2018 when Donald Trump withdrew from the pact.

Also on rt.com Iran unveils budget plan to fend off US sanctions by cutting dependence on oil

In January, Trump confirmed additional sanctions, as tensions greatly escalated between the two states. The measure was announced in retaliation for Iranian missile strikes on two military bases in Iraq housing US personnel, which damaged military materiel but claimed no lives. The Iranian attack was itself a response to the American assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

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