Senior lawmaker: Iran not to dismantle or even negotiate on ballistic missiles

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran has not and will not allow its missile program become an agenda of its nuclear talks with the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) and it won’t dismantle its ballistic missile batteries, a senior national security and foreign policy official underlined on Saturday.

“Dismantling and decreasing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile power is a futile imagination dreamt of by certain American officials,” Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said.

He underlined that Iran is entitled to strengthen its defensive and deterrence power and no world power can deprive the country of this “inalienable right”.

“Iran’s missile power is not an issue for negotiations,” Boroujerdi underlined, advising Washington to slump the activities of its atomic arsenals based on the international laws and stop threatening the global peace.

In relevant remarks late April, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that Iran’s defensive missiles is no topic of the ongoing negotiations with the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plust Germany).

“It will be wrong to assume that the only application of Iran’s defensive missiles that have not and will not be the subject of any negotiations is carrying unconventional weapons,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz in Tehran in response to a question by an Austrian reporter who asked if Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program then why it produces ballistic missiles which have Europe within their range.

The Iranian foreign minister underlined that such wrong assumptions are based on certain media hypes.

Zarif reiterated that the Iran-world powers talks will never deal with subjects other than the nuclear issue.

“Iran’s nuclear program will always remain peaceful and in this case no one can claim that Iran’s missiles will carry nuclear weapons, because Iran does not produce nuclear weapons to be carried by missiles or any other delivery system,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

In February, Zarif dismissed media reports that Tehran and the Group 5+1 would discuss Iran’s missile program in their talks in Vienna, and said the country’s nuclear program has no military dimensions.

“Iran’s nuclear program is not related to the military issues and our military program is not related to the current negotiations,” Zarif told reporters after meeting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton – who presided the G5+1 delegations in talks with Iran – in Vienna for a working dinner on February 17.

His remarks came after US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman promised that Iran’s ballistic missile work would be addressed at a later time in a final agreement.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.

Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

By Fars News Agency


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