Iran’s missile program is not open for negotiation

Iran’s missile program is not open for negotiation

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 3

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran's missile program is not a topic for negotiations with foreign countries, Iranian deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi said, Iranian official IRNA news agency reported Feb. 3.

Iran's missile program pursues defense purposes and the Islamic Republic does not accept negotiating its defense issues with foreign parties, Araqchi said.

Araqchi made the remarks while reacting to recent statements by US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki over Iran 's missile program.

"As we've said before, Iran 's missile program continues to pose a dangerous threat to the region and is an issue we monitor closely," Psaki said, adding "our long-standing concerns regarding Iran 's missile development efforts are shared by the international community, which has passed a series of UN Security Council resolutions focused on Iran 's proliferation-sensitive activities."

The US official also said that ballistic missile capabilities to deliver nuclear warheads are part of ongoing negotiations between Iran and six world powers over Tehran 's nuclear program.

"That issue has been discussed and will continue to be discussed as part of the negotiations," Psaki said.

However, Araqchi said that Iran 's missile program has not been negotiated with P5+1(the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) so far. Iran will not permit nuclear talks to include Iran 's defense topics, Araqchi said.

The senior Iranian official repeatedly announced that the country's missile power would not be a topic for negotiations during nuclear talks with P5+1.

Last April, Iran 's defense minister, Hossein Dehghan said the country would never accept any intervention from the western side on the issue.

Earlier in February 2014, the US nuclear negotiator, Wendy Sherman, said Iran 's ballistic capabilities should be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement with Iran.

The US and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. Iran and the P5+1 agreed to extend nuclear talks until July 1, 2015 after failing to meet the Nov. 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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