Iran rejects Financial Times’ claim on accepting missile talks
Iran has categorically dismissed a claim by The Financial Times that it accepted to enter negotiations over its national missile program as well as its regional role during a recent meeting over the 2015 nuclear deal in Brussels.
Citing the German Foreign Ministry, the paper reported on Tuesday that German, French, and British foreign ministers — together with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief — had agreed during recent talks with Iranian officials in Brussels to hold an “intensive and very serious dialogue” on the country’s conventional missile work and regional influence.
The report claimed that the Europeans have stepped up pressure on Iran over such issues as they struggle to respond to President Donald Trump’s latest threat that he would pull Washington out of the nuclear deal if some “disastrous flaws” were not fixed.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi called the daily’s claim “unfounded” and said the country’s “policy and stance concerning its defensive missile program are completely clear and transparent, and that other countries are well aware of that position.”
Everyone knows that Iran’s defense program is not up for negotiations at all, Qassemi said, stressing that Tehran’s position has not undergone any change at all regardless the smear campaign, threats and standpoints of the US and others.
The Iranian missile work is of completely “defensive and deterrent nature” and is not targeted against any country, Qassemi said, adding that no hollow and baseless claims would change this “principled and substantive” position of the Islamic Republic.
The official asserted, “The Islamic Republic does not allow any interference in its domestic affairs and defensive policies, especially its missile program.”
Further, Qassemi described Iran’s regional policy as “constructive” and “in line with the promotion of peace and stability in the region and the entire world.
“If ill-wishers and extremists are incapable of contributing to regional stability and security, they are not allowed to turn a blind eye the role played by Iran — which has paid inestimable prices in the fight against terrorism, insecurity and instability — and work to increase chaos, insecurity and terrorism in the region,” he added.
European powers have reaffirmed their determination to preserve Iran’s nuclear agreement against the backdrop of US efforts to undermine the landmark multinational deal.
The January 11 meeting in Brussels saw Iranian Foreign Mohammad Javad Zarif discuss the implementation of the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with Mogherini and his counterparts from Germany, France and Britain.
Following the talks, the senior European diplomats lined up to deliver a strong defense of the landmark pact against Trump’s threats, with Mogherini saying the JCPOA “is working” and hailing Tehran’s full compliance with its side of the bargain.