Zarif: There will be no missile JCPOA

April 10, 2016 - 19:6

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has categorically rejected any compromise on Iran’s missile program, stressing that “there would be no JCPOA for defense issues,” ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Minister Zarif’s remarks came after Secretary of State John Kerry had said in Bahrain that his country is ready to negotiate with Tehran about its missile capability.
Kerry’s words have drawn a barrage of fiery responses from other senior Iranian officials, including commanders of the Islamic Revolutions Guards Corps (IRGC) over the past few days.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart Marina Kaljurand in Tehran on Sunday, Zarif noted that Iran’s missile program is not related to the JCPOA and Americans are aware of this. 
“Secretary Kerry and the U.S. State Department know well that Iran’s missile and defense capabilities are not open to negotiation.”
He added if such issues truly matter to the U.S. administration, it should halt “the selling of weaponry which are used to slaughter the defenseless Yemeni people or employed by the Zionist regime.”
Since after the IRGC’s successful fire-testing of two ballistic missiles in March, Iran has seen itself in another confrontation with the United States.
The U.S. and some of its Western allies claim that Iran's missile tests are a breach of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.
The resolution does not ban the testing of conventional weapons by Iran.
Zarif said last month that the missiles recently tested are not programmed to carry nuclear warheads.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif called a claim by Kerry that Iran backs terrorism “baseless,” saying the world takes no heed of the remarks.
Terrorism and extremism as main threats to the region and even to the world are byproducts of the U.S. gunboat diplomacy in Iraq and invasion of the county, Zarif maintained.
Also, on the formal trip to Tehran by Estonian Foreign Affairs Minister Marina Kaljurand, Zarif said this is the first time the country’s foreign minister is visiting Iran although bilateral ties between the two countries dates back to almost a century.
“We talked on a range of issues in our meeting. The two countries can collaborate with each other in different political, cultural, parliamentary, and economic domains,” Zarif said.
Following the signing of the JCPOA, senior foreign officials have been visiting Iran like no time before. 
It is hoped the visits bring about a better future for Iran in all areas, particularly economy and politics.

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