Iran rejects Reuters report, says missile program non-negotiable

Iran rejects Reuters report, says missile program non-negotiable
Sat Oct 7, 2017 10:10:04

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi says the Islamic Republic’s missile program is for defensive purposes and is not open to any negotiations.

PressTV--  Qassemi on Friday firmly rejected a Reuters report quoting unnamed Iranian and Western officials as saying that Iran has signaled to the six world powers with which it signed the historic nuclear agreement in 2015 that it is open to talks about its ballistic missile arsenal.

“Iran regards defensive missile programs as its absolute right and will definitely continue them within the framework of its defensive, conventional and specified plans and strategies,” the Iranian spokesperson said.

He added that Iran “has repeatedly in diplomatic meetings with foreign officials” emphasized that its “defensive missile program is not negotiable” and that Tehran “does not regard it as inconsistent with [UN Security Council] Resolution 2231.”

In all his meetings and interviews with international media on the sidelines of last month’s 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated the non-negotiable nature of the Islamic Republic’s defensive missile program.

According to the Reuters report, the sources said that given US President Donald Trump's threats to ditch the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, Tehran had approached the powers recently about possible talks on some “dimensions” of its missile program.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

During his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 19, Trump described the JCPOA as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign.

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