MP rules out talks on Iran’s defense power

Tasnim – A top Iranian lawmaker dismissed any negotiations with foreigners on the country’s defense capabilities, saying any decision about the country’s military programs is entirely an internal issue.

Spokesperson for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told Tasnim that the country’s defense power would by no means be subject to negotiations.

“We have not held and will not hold any talks on this subject,” the lawmaker reiterated.

He further denounced the failure by the US government to honor its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying Washington is seeking to dictate its demands on Europeans and impose new missile-related sanctions on Iran.

Europeans are also trying to appease the US and encourage it to remain in the nuclear deal by giving various pledges, Naqavi Hosseini deplored, saying Iran disagrees with such a European approach.

US President Donald Trump in January set a 120-day deadline for US lawmakers and European allies to “fix” his predecessor Barack Obama’s main foreign policy achievement or face a US exit.

Since the nuclear deal was signed in Vienna in July 2015, the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA.

In a video message released on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that Tehran will by no means agree to renegotiate the JCPOA or add any new terms to it, warning that Iran will choose how to respond to a US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“If the US continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws all together, we will exercise our right to respond in a manner of our choosing. Bluster or threats won’t get the US a new deal particularly as it is not honoring the deal it has already made,” he said.