French police’s handling of protests ‘unacceptable’: Tehran

December 17, 2018

TEHRAN – Tehran on Monday criticized the French police for its handling of the recent protests as “unacceptable”, urging the French government to practice self-control in the face of the unrest.

Responding to a question by the Tehran Times correspondent, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the issue of “France is an internal matter and Iran does not comment on that.”

However, Qassemi continued, the behavior of the French police has been “harsh, unconsidered and unacceptable.”

“We have called upon France’s government to keep its self-control so that the protests take place in a peaceful atmosphere,” he told a bi-weekly press conference.

“Also, the presence of some anarchist groups, who are after destruction and harm, in these protests is worthy of consideration, and these people need to keep their self-control as well,” the spokesman added.

‘SPV not just limited to medicine, foodstuff’

Answering a question about the special purpose vehicle (SPV), which the European Union is developing to save the 2015 nuclear deal, Qassemi said the SPV is not just for supplying medicine and foodstuff on Iran, but includes a variety of items.

If implemented, other countries can also benefit from the SPV, which includes a variety of fields including investment, industry and technology, he stated.

‘Iran transparent about its missile program’

On Iran’s missile program, Qassemi said there’s a difference of opinion between Tehran and some European countries, whose concerns about Iran’s missile program “stem from the efforts of those who want to wage a tough psychological war against Iran.”

Iran’s missile-related activities are part of its national defense security, he said. In an open reference to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in the 1980 and bombardment of civilian areas and Israel’s repeated military threats against Iran, Qassemi said, “Because of its historical experiences and its regional location, Iran has to follow such policy.”

The spokesman further said the Islamic Republic would not allow others to limit its missile program, but meanwhile it continues to act under the international law and regulations.

Qassemi says Iran cannot ‘sacrifice’ its security for stances of certain foreign officials about Tehran’s missile defense program. 

“We have talked about our [missile] policies with different countries for the sake of transparency, but will not hold negotiations about these policies,” he emphasized.

“We cannot sacrifice our security for these kinds of stances and comments,” Qassemi remarked, pointing to certain foreign officials like U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who claim Iran’s missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads.

MH/PA

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