Hassan Rouhani’s defence minister-designate has declared boosting missile program as Defence Ministry’s first priority in the next four years.
Amir Hatami, who has been a member of repressive Bassij paramilitary forces made the remarks at the regime’s parliament on Thursday.
He described, “boosting missile and ballistic power” as “the first pre-emptive priority of the Ministry of Defense in the next four years,” state-run IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday August 15, 2017.
"We will enhance the missile power in all fields, especially in the fields of ballistic and cruise missiles, in the course of this period," he told the regime's parliament, state-run TV reported on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.
Hatami emphasized on the continued killing of Syrians and his allegiance to the Qods Force by saying: "We will undoubtedly pursue support for the resistance front (a reference to the Assad regime) and the pillar of the resistance, the Qods Force and my dear brother ... Qassem Soleimani, who is our pride.”
Introducing the new defence minister, Hassan Rouhani said Hatami is in full command regarding the affairs of the Ministry of Defense and its programs. Rouhani said “I have emphasized on some weapon programs, especially missile power, because of their importance, and he would work more actively to this effect.”
Ahmad Amir-Abadi, a member of the regime’s Parliament called Hatami a loyalist to the Supreme Leader who throught his 30 years in armed forces he has been a "Soldier of Supreme Leader".
Amir-Abadi added: “He has good plans in developing missile power ... he has good plans ... supporting the resistance front …, he is in full defense and support for the Qods Force ... and Qassem Soleimani".
Given the general hatred towards the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Rouhani has attempted to depict Hatami as the first defense minister who is not an IRGC member.
However, Amir Hatami has been an active member of repressive Bassij paramilitary forces since the establishment of the clerical regime, when he was 13 years old.
In the following years, he was among Bassij and IRGC personnel who were ordered to enter the army to gain full control over that entity. Hatami played an active role in suppressing, arresting and executing patriotic personnel of the army. As such, he quickly rose in the army’s ranks.
In 1998 when he was 32, Ali Khamenei, promoted him to the rank of Brigadier General with a two degrees promotion and appointed him as army’s deputy chief of staff on intelligence matters.
Hatami played an active role in suppressing opposition activists and confronting the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) during Operation Eternal Light in July 1988.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 18, 2017