US seeking talks on Iran missiles: MP

Tasnim – An Iranian lawmaker described the hue and cry raised by the US on Iran’s recent missile test as a ploy to accuse Iran of violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and force the country to negotiate on its military programs.

In an interview with Tasnim, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, rapporteur of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the US frustration at not being able to find fault with Iran’s implementation of the JCPOA has made it look for new allegations against Tehran.

The fuss about Iran’s missile program is an American scheme to link the country’s defense programs to the nuclear deal and thus bring Iran to the negotiating table, he explained.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has announced repeatedly that it will not negotiate with any country on the missile, defense and military spheres,” the lawmaker added.

His comments came after US officials criticized Iran on Tuesday for what they called Iran’s “provocative” and “irresponsible” measure by conducting its first missile test since Donald Trump took office.

Later, the US added new Iranian individuals and entities to its anti-Iran sanction list. The US Treasury Department said it has published a list of 13 Iranian figures and 12 entities facing new sanctions.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the new sanctions for being out of step with the US commitments and running counter to “the text and spirit” of the UNSC Resolution 2231.

After achievement in July 2015 of the JCPOA, a nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), the 15-memebr United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to endorse the accord.

Resolution 2231 calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Iran, however, maintains that none of its missiles have been designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads, because nuclear weapons have basically no place in the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine.