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Iran’s missile capability non-negotiable: Araqchi

3 February 2015 13:49

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A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator has rejected US claims that Tehran’s defense capabilities would be part of future nuclear talks with the P5+1 countries, saying the country’s missile capability is non-negotiable.

“Our country’s missile program has a completely defensive nature and the Islamic Republic of Iran does not regard the country’s defense issues as negotiable and will not hold such negotiations with any foreign side,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said Tuesday.

He added that Iran successfully placed into orbit the domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite on Monday in line with the country’s long-term approaches to sustain its presence in the space to strengthen its telecommunication infrastructures.

The Iranian official emphasized that in line with the country’s nuclear talks with the P5+1 countries, no permission has been or will be issued in the future to hold negotiations on Iran’s defense and missile capabilities.

Araqchi’s remarks came after the US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed that Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities are part of the ongoing talks between Tehran and the six world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“That issue has been discussed and will continue to be discussed as part of the negotiations,” Psaki said.

Fajr satellite launch

Iran on Monday successfully placed into orbit the home-made National Fajr (Dawn) Satellite with President Hassan Rouhani issuing the order for its launch.

The satellite is capable of staying in space for 1.5 years and taking and transmitting high-quality and accurate pictures to stations on earth.

Equipped with GPS navigation system, Fajr, weighing 52 kilos, is the fourth Iranian-made satellite which was put into orbit after three others between 2009 and 2012.

The satellite succeeded in transmitting data to its stations on earth hours after it was launched.

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