Iran missile program must be ‘on the table’ for JCPOA talks

TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – Jake Sullivan, Biden's incoming national security adviser, says Iran’s missile program should be on the table when talking about probable US’s return to the nuclear deal.

"Our view is that ballistic missiles, and Iran's ballistic missiles has to be on the table as part of that follow-on negotiation", Sullivan told Zakaria, when asked what the Biden team will seek to achieve in nuclear talks with Iran, Sputnik reported.

"We also believe that there can be conversations that go beyond just the permanent five members of the Security council... [], and that involve regional players as well. And that in that broader negotiation, we can ultimately secure limits on Iran's ballistic missile technology."

The remarks come as Iranian officials have clearly highlighted that the country’s missile program is ‘non-negotiable’. In a press conference in mid-December 2020, President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Tehran’s stance, adding that Biden is “well aware of it”. Rouhani also highlighted that Tehran will not renegotiate the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Elsewhere in his interview with CNN, Sullivan claimed that Iran is “closer to nuclear weapons than it was a year ago”, noting that January 3, 2020, US assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Qasem Soleimani, did not make America safer and has not contributed to US interests in West Asia.

Tehran also denounced Washington for attempts to lecture others on nuclear proliferation, pointing out that the US has "thousands of nuclear warheads, proliferated such weapons and the related know-how, used it against a non-nuclear-weapon state, and threatens others with the possible use of them". "Indeed, such a country is not even entitled to talk about non-proliferation concerns,” Iran's envoy, Gharib Abadi, told the International Atomic Agency’s board of governors in November, 2020.

As US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he will restart negotiations to return the US to the JCPOA nuclear deal with Tehran, Rouhani expressed confidence that Washington will return to the agreement, adding that the “three-year resistance of the Iranian nation will force the future US administration to succumb to the people and return to their commitments and break the sanctions.”

In 2018, the US president unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear agreement, imposing harsh sanctions on the country. Trump's move to exit the US from the deal prompted Iran to step away from the JCPOA commitments that saw the Islamic republic reducing its nuclear capability.

Tensions were further strained after the assassination of Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani, committed on a direct order by Trump one year ago. The general, accompanied by a deputy chairman of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was killed in Iraq, while leaving the Baghdad International Airport.

MAH/Sputnik

News Code 168040

Tags

Your Comment

You are replying to: .
  • 4 + 0 =