Zarif says Iran's missiles are ‘non-negotiable’

December 15, 2018 - 20:25

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Iran’s missiles are for defensive purposes, reiterating that the country’s missile program is “not negotiable”, IRNA reported, citing Al Jazeera.

On U.S. claims about Iran’s missile tests, Zarif said, “First, Iran's missiles are defensive. We need them for deterrence. We use far less for military than anybody else in the region and that is why we have said from the beginning that our missiles are not negotiable.”

The second point is that the United States is in clear violation of resolution 2231 of the Security Council by withdrawing from the JCPOA, he said, adding, “So, they are in no position to talk about that resolution because they have tried to destroy the resolution.”

The third point, Zarif continued, is that the resolution very clearly does not prohibit Iran from testing missiles, referring to missiles that are designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads, while the JCPOA and resolution 2231 verify that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons.

“Iran's missiles are defensive. We need them for deterrence. We use far less for military than anybody else in the region and that is why we have said from the beginning that our missiles are not negotiable.”

Commenting on the future of the JCPOA, he said “I think this agreement is a major diplomatic achievement in which the entire international community believes and which the entire international community wants to uphold.”

The United States has done its best to undermine and destroy the deal but the rest of the world don’t seem to be prepared to accept U.S. bullying, he added.

Zarif left Tehran for Qatar on Saturday to attend Doha Forum 2018. The event is scheduled to be held with the attendance of prominent figures on December 15-16.

The foreign minister on Saturday met with Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to discuss a range of issues, including ways to boost relations between the two neighboring countries.

Zarif and Al Thani also voiced their support for the UN-brokered peace talks on Yemen, which was recently held in Stockholm, Sweden.  

MH/PA

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