Iran’s missile program not open to negotiations: FM

Iran will never negotiate over its missile program as it is a matter of national defense, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said here on Sunday.

The minister told a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart, Marina Kaljurand, that both U.S. Department of State and John Kerry, the secretary of state, know that the missile issue and defense capabilities of the Islamic republic are not open to negotiations.

If the United States is serious about the arms, it is better to reconsider the sales of the weapons to some countries which use them against the Yemenis and the Palestinians, he said.

On Thursday, Kerry said that the United States was open to a “new arrangement” with Iran for resolving the issues pertaining to the country’s missile program.

Also, a senior Iranian military official dismissed on Friday the remarks of the the top U.S. diplomat on Iran’s missile program as “impudent.”

Iran’s deputy joint chief of staff of the armed forces, Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, called on Iran’s Foreign Ministry to respond “firmly” to Kerry’s calls for missile talks with Tehran.

“The missile power is non-negotiable, and for developing its defense capabilities Iran doesn’t get permission from anybody,” Jazayeri said.

The White House is critical of Iran’s missile program and deems it a threat to regional and world peace.

However, the Islamic republic said that its missile program is totally for peaceful purposes and no measure can strip the Islamic republic of its legitimate and legal rights to boost its defensive capabilities and to safeguard national security.



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