US seeks to cover up strategic mistake on JCPOA: Iran official

Press TV – Iran has censured as baseless meddlesome remarks that keep being repeated by some US officials about the Islamic Republic’s internal affairs, saying the United States is trying to cover up its strategic mistake to withdraw from a historic 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told ISNA on Friday that the US interference in Iran’s internal affairs stems from its frustration and is aimed at making up for its “persistent” failures and wrong policies on Tehran over the past four decades.

Qassemi was referring to recent remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who claimed that Iran’s latest missile launch proved that the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is doing nothing to stop Tehran’s missile program and called for tougher international restrictions on Iran.

Pompeo accused Iran of defying the UN Security Council as the country advances its ballistic missile capabilities.

On Thursday, Iran unveiled an underground precision ballistic missiles plant belonging to the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

In reaction to Pompeo’s allegations, the Iranian spokesperson said after the United States’ “hasty and illogical” move to pull out from the JCPOA, it is now trying to cover up its blunder and “repeatedly speaks about the futility of the JCPOA and United Nations Resolution 2231.”

Resolution 2231 enshrines the international nuclear agreement from which Washington has withdrawn under the pretext, among others, that it should have included Iran’s missile program as well.

Under the deal, reached between Iran and six major powers, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, Tehran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

Qassemi emphasized that the US and its allies, who are pursuing excessive demands and vicious goals against the Iranian nation, would fail to stop Iran’s deterrent and defensive missile program.

He said the Iranian nation would never bow to the US threats and pressure but would firmly continue to boost its national strength, including its deterrent missile capabilities.

As repeatedly announced by Iranian officials, Iran’s missile and defensive capabilities would help promote peace and stability in the region.

Iran says neither its space program nor its missile launches are banned under Resolution 2231.

Back in December, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Resolution 2231 had not imposed any ban on Iran’s missile program.

“As the foreign minister, I can say that the issue of missiles has never been subject to negotiations between Iran and its [opposite negotiating] sides,” Zarif said.

Over the past years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in manufacturing military equipment and hardware despite being under sanctions and economic pressures.

Tehran asserts that its missile arsenal is strictly in the service of the country’s defensive purposes and poses no threat to other states.