TEHRAN, Iran (Kurdistan24) - Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, said in an event showcasing Iran's military power that his country would seek 'no one's permission' to build missiles.
"The strengthening of the capability of the Iranian armed forces ... is only for defending the country and we will ask no one's permission to build up the armed forces, and to build missiles and aircraft,” Rouhani said.
His remarks came shortly after U.S. fired nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base from which chemical weapons were launched on a rebel-held city.
The gas attacks were directed at the Khan Sheikhoun town in southern Idlib Province.
Rouhani called America's bombing of Syria in retaliation for the gas attack, a "blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty."
He added that Iran has never had "aggressive aims, but peace is not a one-way road and if we decide to be peaceful the other party ... may not. So there is a need for vigilance."
Rouhani is facing reelection in May which marks the end of the first term of his four-year presidency.
Critics say anti-West rhetorics often increase shortly before elections.
During his presidential campaigns, Trump had criticized the nuclear deal and had vowed to put an end to Iran’s missile program.
In January, Trump administration said Iran was "on notice" and was “playing with fire” after the country tested a new ballistic missile.
Many see the May 19 election as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers which is supported by the so-called reformists in Iran.
Iranian hardliners have spoken against the deal despite the country's sanctions-hobbled economy.
Under that deal, Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.