No talks on Iran missile program, defense minister reiterates

Tasnim– Iran’s defense minister on Wednesday categorically denied a report that the Islamic Republic has acceded to demands to hold negotiations on its missile program.

Asked about claims by a German foreign ministry spokesman that Berlin, London and Paris are scheduled to enter talks with Tehran on missiles, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said, “We have had no discussions on our missile program nor are we going to have any (in future).”

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi also denied the report, published by the Financial Times.

The newspaper quoted the German foreign ministry as saying that the German, French and British foreign ministers -together with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini- have agreed with Iran to hold an “intensive and very serious dialogue” on Tehran’s missile program and regional influence.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow any country to interfere in its internal affairs and defense policies, particularly its missile program,” Qassemi underlined.

Qassemi said Iran’s policies will remain unchanged irrespective of the US threats, stances and propaganda campaign, adding, “As mentioned several times, Iran’s missile program is exclusively for defense and deterrence.”

In comments in October 2017, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei categorically rejected the idea of negotiations on Iran’s defense power, stressing that the country will press ahead with the plans to boost its might and build up its defense capabilities.

“As we have announced several times in the past and announce it once again, the country’s defense capabilities and power are not subject to negotiations and bargaining,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a graduation ceremony of Army cadets at the time.