FM spox reiterates Iran stance on missile program

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (MNA) – Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman rejected the French foreign minister’s call for starting talks on Iran missiles, saying “the missile program is in no way negotiable.”

“Regarding the missile program of our country, we stress again that this program is defensive in its nature and is domestic and legitimate, and it is vital for preserving the country and the people of Iran, and is by no means negotiable,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said in a statement on Friday, in reaction to the recent remarks made by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who on Wednesday called on Iran to listen to Western countries’ demands and start dialogue on its missile program and regional influence.

Although Le Drian called for preserving the Iran nuclear deal, he said that Iran should hold talks with the West on the state of its nuclear program after 2025.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly stated its clear and transparent stance on some countries’ unrelated concerns which stem from their misunderstanding and lack of knowledge,” Ghasemi noted.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman also described the JCPOA as a solid international agreement which proved Iran’s goodwill and its compliance with international obligations, criticizing the western countries for not abiding by their commitments under the deal.

“Iran has regularly proven that it does not shy away from and is not afraid of dialogue and negotiations,” said Ghasemi, criticizing the European countries, including France, for not doing enough to preserve the JCPOA - as the greatest diplomatic achievement in today’s world - other than issuing political statements.

He said that the French foreign minister should know that as long as the Europeans continue to ignore their commitments, it is inevitable for the Iranian side to maintain its distrust toward them.

He further noted that the western countries need to abide by the commitments they previously had agreed to fulfill.

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