TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior US official did not rule out that the issue of Iran’s missile capabilities would be raised during the negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, saying the UN Security Council resolutions stipulate that it should be addressed sometime.
Speaking to reporters in a special briefing in the Austrian capital on the eve of a fresh round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six major world powers, a senior US official said the issue of Iran’s ballistic missiles is something that should be addressed under the UN Security Council resolutions.
Asked by the Tasnim reporter about a possible discussion of Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities, the US official said, “I would note that the UN Security Council resolutions must be addressed. That’s in the Joint Plan of Action. Those resolutions, among many other things, do say that any missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon must be dealt with.”
Delegates from Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) have gathered in Vienna to hold a fresh round of high-profile nuclear talks, which begin on Wednesday and are expected to extend over three days.
The two sides have already inked a six-month deal in Geneva in November 2013. The interim agreement, known as the Joint Plan of Action, stipulates that over the course of six months, the parties will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the whole sanctions on Iran.
Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, insists that the talk of the country’s defensive capabilities will by no means be mooted in the nuclear negotiations with six world powers.
“I assure you that the Islamic Republic’s defense and our defensive capabilities will not be the subject of negotiations,” Zarif told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday night, after a dinner banquet with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who liaises with Iran on behalf of the six countries.
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