Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 12
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The next round of talks with the P5+1 will just include nuclear issue, spokeswoman for the Iranian foreign ministry Marziyeh Afkham said, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Feb. 12.
She went on to say that "no topic other than Iran's peaceful nuclear program is to be raised during the negotiations."
Afkham`s remarks follow the statements of certain U.S. officials on the threshold of the new round of talks between Iran and the P5+1, saying Iran's ballistic missile program should be addressed as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal.
The U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman admitted last week before Congress that the United States had "not shut down" Iran's ballistic missile program.
"That is indeed something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement," Sherman underlined.
On Feb. 11, Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby said that "Iran's missile program continues to pose a dangerous threat to region, and is an issue we monitor closely."
Kirby noted that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 prohibits Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi rejected U.S. calls for its ballistic missile program to be included as part of the negotiated nuclear deal, on Feb. 9. Commenting on Iran's military might, Afkham said Tehran has always announced readiness to expand its defense cooperation with regional countries in a bid to promote peace, security, stability and mutual trust in the entire region.
On Feb. 9 Iran successfully test-fired two long-range ballistic missiles.
Iran's Defense minister Hossein Dehghan said on Feb. 10 that firing of the two ballistic missiles is a response to the U.S. officials' statements that the military option against Iran is still on the table.