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                                        Volume. 11958

Missile issues not to be part of nuclear talks: Iranian lawmaker
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_NA2(18).jpgTEHRAN – Mohammad Dehghan, a member of the Iranian Parliament Presiding Board, says the Westerners, specifically the U.S., want to put missile issues on the agenda of nuclear talks, the Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday.
 
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and the lead U.S. negotiator with Iran, Wendy Sherman told a Senate hearing in February that Iran's ballistic missile program would be addressed as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal.
 
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) held their last round of talks in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday. They agreed to meet again on May 13 in Vienna to work on a final solution to the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. 
 
The West is seeking to use the nuclear talks as an excuse to interfere in Iran’s national security issues in order to undermine the country’s national independence, the lawmaker opined.
 
He went on to say that Iran’s military and missile issues have nothing to do with the West. 
 
As part of its military strategy Iran is developing long range missiles for defensive purposes, he noted.
 
Neither the Foreign Ministry nor an official has the right to show leniency over military and missile issues, because these are Iran’s red lines, he added. 
 
He stated that military and missile issues should not be discussed in nuclear talks and the Iranian Parliament is sensitive toward this issue and monitors the negotiations.
 
On March 16, a number of Iranian MPs issued a statement saying that Iran’s defense capabilities should not be discussed during the negotiations.
 
NA/PA

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