Missile program is not negotiable: MP

November 22, 2020 - 17:46

TEHRAN – Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Saturday that Iran’s missile capability is not negotiable.

“Iran’s missile and defense capability are not negotiable at all,” Abbaszadeh Meshkini told the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA)

The lawmaker added that Tehran will never allow new issues to be included in the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Abbaszadeh Meshkini was responding to Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special representative for Iran, who recently said that Washington’s European allies are willing to go beyond the JCPOA and address Iran’s missile program as well as its regional influence.

Abrams has told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington’s European allies may want the United States to return to the JCPOA, but they themselves want to go beyond this deal.  He claimed that it is clear that the Europeans want to address Iran's missile program and its regional influence, and they also want to extend the JCPOA’s sunset clauses for more years.

Abbaszadeh Meshkini pointed out that the Europeans signed eleven commitments under the terms of the JCPOA, but did not fulfill any of them.

“It seems that now is not the time to raise new issues, and the Europeans must live up to their commitments to lift sanctions,” the lawmaker said, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran has implemented most of its commitments to prove its goodwill and show respect for international law.

“This is while the European countries that are party to the JCPOA and the United States have not taken any steps to maintain this agreement,” Abbaszadeh Meshkini regretted.

According to the lawmaker, the Iranian people will never accept new issues in the JCPO and that there will be no negotiations over Iran’s missile program.

“When the Americans arm illegitimate regimes with nuclear weapons, sell unconventional weapons to countries in the region, and ignore some countries' suspicious nuclear activities, they can no longer ban Iran from having conventional weapons. This is impossible,” Abbaszadeh Meshkini asserted.

Sohrab Gilani, another Iranian lawmaker, also responded to Abrams’s remarks, saying the JCPOA cannot be reopened.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the JCPOA, while the Europeans and the Americans did not fulfill their obligations, so no new negotiations are going to take place. Rather, the Westerners must implement their obligations,” Gilani told ICANA on Sunday.

“In fact, now, the issue is not whether to hold new negotiations, because now it’s time action and implementation by the countries that are signatory to the JCPOA,” he added.

Gilani also warned the Iranian Foreign Ministry against talking with the U.S., saying the ministry is not authorized to hold negotiations over the JCPOA.

“Undoubtedly, if the foreign minister makes a new commitment for our country, he will be dismissed because the Islamic Consultative Assembly will not allow the diplomatic apparatus to renegotiate the JCPOA,” the lawmaker said.