Iran rules out negotiations over missile program

TEHRAN, May 27 (MNA) – In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran (SNSC) said Iran will not agree to negotiate any limitations on its missile development and it does not seek permission from anyone to defend its missile program.

“The United States is not trustworthy to negotiate with at all. The missile power of Iran is completely indigenous and defensive. We do not await anyone’s permit to develop our conventional defense capabilities and are not willing to negotiate over this matter,” Ali Shamkhani said in an interview Al-Jazeera Arabic this week.

“It does not make any sense to negotiate with a country that does not respect its obligations. The US withdrawal meant that it tore the international agreement,” Shamkhani added.

“During the 40 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution we did not initiate any aggression on any country and we are not looking for a territorial expansion,” the Iranian top security official noted.

Also on Saturday, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami declared that Iran's enemies, led by the United States, were working to limit Iran's defense capabilities.

Hatami added that Iran is one of the world's leading countries in the defense field and that its military capabilities are not up for negotiation. Esmaili played down the importance of the United States' withdrawal from the nuclear deal, stressing that Washington was not part of the deal since the very beginning.

Furthermore, Iran's air defense chief, Farzad Esmaili said on Saturday that Iran had 3,700 air defense spots across the country, preventing any hostile aircraft from entering Iranian airspace.

In response to a question regarding Israeli regime’s attacks on alleged Iranian bases in Syria, Shamkhani said “Iran is in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government to fight terrorism in the country. We are a guest there.”

He said that Iran will respond vigorously to any Israeli aggression, calling the attack on Iranian military advisers a ‘strategic mistake.’

The Iranian top official went on to stress that Iran will continue its policies in the region in line with its national interests. 

He stated Trump went to Riyadh as his first foreign trip in the position of the president of the United States to form the alleged coalition against Iran while the main purpose of the coalition was to expand US military presence in the region and to ‘milk’ the regional countries. 

Elsewhere, he said that Ansallorah movement in Yemen agreed to establish a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramdan, but the Saudis refused. 

He later said that Iran seeks to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia, adding that the foreign interference has prevented the bilateral relations between the two from getting improved.

With regard to the ongoing talks with Europe to safeguard Iran’s interests after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, the Iranian official said that the US actions in leaving the deal led the deal to collapse, adding if Europe intends to revive the JCPOA, it must guarantee the benefits in the nuclear deal for Iran. 

He stressed that if Europe cannot meet Iran’s demands in safeguarding its interests, Iran will go another way and will pursue its independent policy.

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