Bahram Qassemi

Iran says will not allow any intrusion into defensive affairs, vows to boost capabilities

Press TV – Iran says it will allow no one to intrude into its defensive affairs, vowing to boost its capabilities in the sector.

“We will continue our country’s defensive capabilities and policies in full strength and will never allow others’ intrusion into this sector,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in an interview with IRIB on Saturday.

He added that Iran would not accept to hold talks about its “non-negotiable” defensive and missile programs, stressing the importance of maintaining the country’s military prowess considering the ongoing complicated situation in the region.

“Our policies are not against any country. Our military policies are completely for defensive objectives and are not and will not be in contradiction to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231,” Qassemi pointed out.

Iran has repeatedly announced that its missile program is not against Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

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

Under the resolution, Iran is “called upon” not to undertake any activity related to missiles “designed to be capable of” delivering nuclear weapons. Iran says it is not involved in any such missile work and has no such warheads.

The Iranian spokesperson further emphasized that the Islamic Republic pursued “very clear policies” on its missile and defensive activities which he said would continue like the past.

Qassemi’s comments came a day after he firmly rejected a Reuters report quoting unnamed Iranian and Western officials as saying that Iran had signaled to the six world powers with which it signed the JCPOA that it was 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,” he 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.”