Iran Says Missile Program is “Not Negotiable”

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Iranian officials denied any negotiation is taking place with P5+1 group over its missile plan and stressed that the program is “not negotiable.”

On Wednesday, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said that the country “will never” accept to negotiate over its missile program and “defensive capabilities” with any world power, Fars news agency reported.

A day earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi stressed that “Iran’s missile program has totally defensive nature and is not negotiable,” the Tehran Times reported.

Iranian officials’ comments came after US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Monday that Iran’s missile program was part of the P5+1 group — United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — nuclear talks with Iran.

Meanwhile, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani berated the world's nuclear powers on Wednesday, saying atomic weapons had not kept them safe and reiterating that his country was not seeking the bomb.

Rouhani avoided explicit mention of ongoing nuclear talks between the West and Iran but accused atomic-armed states of hypocrisy.

"They tell us 'we don't want Iran to make atomic bombs,' you who have made atomic bombs," Rouhani said in Isfahan, 400 kilometers south of the capital Tehran.

He then took aim at Israel, thought to be the only nuclear power in the region although it has never publicly acknowledged it, dubbing the Zionist state a "criminal."

"Have you managed to bring about security for yourselves with atomic bombs? Have you managed to create security for the usurper Israel?" Rouhani said.

"We don't need an atomic bomb. We have a great, self-sacrificing and unified nation," he stressed, referring to Monday's launch of an observation satellite into space by Iran.

"Despite pressures and sanctions, this nation sent a new satellite into space," Rouhani added.

Iran is in negotiations with the P5+1 powers aimed at a deal to resolve a long-running dispute over its nuclear program.

Iran denies ever seeking atomic weapons but western powers are unconvinced Tehran's activities have been solely aimed at peaceful energy production.

Under an interim deal, Iran's stock of fissile material has been diluted from 20 percent enriched uranium to five percent in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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