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Iran to continue pace of missile program amidst US pressure

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Tehran: Iran’s defence minister said on Friday that despite the US pressures, Iran will not slow down the pace of development in its missile program.

“We will vigorously press ahead with the development of missile capabilities within the framework of the country’s defense policies,” brigadier general Hossein Dehqan was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

“There has been no interruption in the process of designing and manufacturing defensive ballistic missiles,” Dehqan said, adding that the Iranian armed forces will employ all indigenous potential and equipment to strengthen the country’s defense power, regardless of what foreigners say or do.

Besides, deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) brigadier general Hossein Salami reiterated on Friday that Iran will not hesitate a moment to develop its deterrent power against the threats posed by the hegemonic powers.

“We will not stop developing our defense and deterrent power and this is a demand by the Muslim nation of Iran,” Salami said.

The remarks by Iranian military officials followed Thursday’s letter of President Hassan Rouhani to Defense Ministry to proceed with the country’s missile program “with high speed and seriously” and expand Iran’s missile capabilities in response to the US considered sanctions.

Rouhani’s remarks, in turn, were a response to the US Treasury Department’s recent announcement that it was considering sanctions against a number of Iranian and international individuals and agencies for their alleged involvement in developing Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

The new US move to add individuals and companies to the sanction list is a response to Iran’s recent test of a ballistic missile.

In October, Iran announced the tests of the long-range Emad missile which could be guided and controlled until hitting the target with high precision.

A UN experts’ report in December said that Iran violated UN Security Council Resolution 1929 by test-firing the Emad missile which is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The UN report said the Emad ballistic missile has a range of “no less than 1,000 km with a payload of at least 1,000 kg”.

Under Resolution 1929, Iran is prohibited from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. (IANS), (image courtesy:rnw.nl)

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U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter

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FILE - The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter. VOA

US, Dec 31, 2017: The U.S. Library of Congress says it will no longer collect every single tweet published on Twitter as it has been doing for the past 12 years.

The library said this week that it can no longer collect everything across the entire social media platform because of recent changes Twitter has made, including allowing longer tweets, photos and videos.

It said in a blog post this week that its first objective with collecting and archiving tweets was “to document the emergence of online social media for future generations.” The library says it has fulfilled that objective and no longer needs to be a “comprehensive” collector of tweets.

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington.
FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington. VOA

The Library of Congress said it will still collect and archive tweets in the future, but will do so on a more selective basis. It said going forward “the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.”

The library said it generally does not collect media comprehensively, but said it made an exception for public tweets when the social media platform was first developed.

The library said it will keep its previous archive of tweets from 2006-2017 to help people understand the rise of social media and to offer insight into the public mood during that time. “Throughout its history, the Library has seized opportunities to collect snapshots of unique moments in human history and preserve them for future generations,” it said.

“The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation’s most significant legacies to future generations. Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation,” it said. (VOA)

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