Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Feb. 11 that Iran was determined to expand its military power and ballistic missile program despite mounting pressure from hostile countries to curb Iran's defensive work, state TV reported.

Rouhani, addressing tens of thousands gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution, also vowed Iran would defeat U.S. sanctions, re-imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from Tehran's nuclear accord with world powers last year.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers last year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, dealing a blow to the country's economy.

Iranian officials at the time said the move amounted to "economic warfare."

Regional power Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries have viewed Shi'ite Iran with great suspicion since the Islamic Revolution took hold, fearing its leader Khomeini would export his ideology across the Middle East.

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NBC News 22 Aug 2019 06:22 CEST

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