Iran missile tests not against nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Mar. 14 (MNA) – Iran’s FM Zarif stressed Mon. the country’s missile tests do not violate the nuclear deal, adding Iran spends a fraction of any other country in the region on defense.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in an interview with Radio New Zealand on Monday. 

“It is in the interest of both countries to engage in long-term economic relations and there are possibilities to go beyond the trade existed between Iran and New Zealand before the sanctions were imposed," said Zarif on the prospect of expansion of ties between Iran and New Zealand

On the topic of human rights, he said “I suggested to my colleagues that we should engage in human rights dialogues because Iran is a vibrant democracy in the region and is proud to have been able to make democratic changes in the government you just saw in the election where people chose their candidates from a variety of persuasions."

“We believe if any country in the region should be under a human rights investigation that should not be Iran,” said Zarif, “and Ahmad Shaheed’s investigation is a political one, not a human rights investigation. We are interested in a genuine human rights dialogue not a sham.”

About Iran’s missiles tests and the US call for sanctions against the country, he said “the missile tests are not against the nuclear agreement and not against the UN Security Council resolution. We spend a fraction of any other country in the region on defense and missiles are the kind of defense equipment that we require.”

Zarif went on to add that Iran will continue with its defense capabilities which have nothing to do with nuclear weapons; “we have provided the best guarantee that Iran will never develop any nuclear weapons so these missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.”

About the US presidential elections at the end of the year, he said “I am not in the habit of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. I believe that our differences with the United States will remain [no matter who becomes the president]. Whoever sits in the White House will have to reflect upon the realties in our region as President Obama and John Kerry have done and decide accordingly.”

We will react based on the decisions they will make, he added.

On the Syrian crisis, he said “we are not a supporter of anybody but rather are an opponent to ISIL and other terrorist groups that are creating a very dangerous environment in our region…Terrorism cannot be contained in one region. And we will continue to push for a political solution for Syria.”

“The resolution 2254 and the ongoing negotiations are based – as Secretary Kerry said in the Security Council meeting – on a plan that was presented by Iran over 2.5 years ago. We will stick to our plan and we believe it is the Syrian people themselves who should be allowed to decide for their own country,” he said. 




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