The Islamic Republic of Iran has sent a strong message to the US and European nations. Tehran expressed its commitment and readiness to abandon the production of nuclear armaments, saying that the Islamic Republic would negotiate about its ballistic missiles only if other powers stop theirs.
A top Iranian military officer said over the weekend that the current global geopolitical landscape prompted the West Asian nation to take a tough stance on the issue. Senior spokesperson of the Iranian Armed Forces Masoud Jazayeri also said that Tehran was ready to halt its nuclear programme for peaceful purposes, but the US and Europe would have to do the same. That’s why Tehran refused to discuss its missile programme with the global powers, he explained. Jazayeri stressed: “The condition for negotiating Iran’s missiles is the destruction of the nuclear weapons and long-range missiles of the US and Europe.”
The Iranian official once again claimed that his country’s nuclear programme was defensive, saying that Tehran has no plan to attack any country. He stressed on the deterrent nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, insisting that it had no relation to the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Meanwhile, Jazayeri assured the global community that Tehran would help Europe in restoring peace in West Asia. He said that the Iranian and European officials recently started holding talks over Tehran’s role in the region and would meet in Italy later in March as part of efforts, initiated by US President Donald Trump, to prove that the Iranian authorities are meeting his concerns over the 2015 nuke deal.
Tehran strongly criticised France for expressing concern over Iran’s ballistic missile programme. Ahead of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s recent visit to Tehran, spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Bahram Qasemi said: “Iran is an independent country … Its defensive missile work will continue … France’s concern over our missile programme is wrong.”
Qasemi issued the statement just a day after the French Foreign Ministry said that Iran should abandon its nuclear programme and contribute “in a positive manner to solving crises in the Middle East”. “In this regard the crisis in Syria and the humanitarian situation there will particularly be discussed along with other regional issues where Iran is involved (Yemen, Libya, Iraq),” the French ministry added in a statement ahead of Le Drian’s meeting with the top Iranian leadership in Tehran.
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