Nuclear Chief: Ban, Merkel’s Remarks Indicate New Plot against Iran
“I feel that they are paving the ground to cook a new plot against us and we should be on the alert,” Salehi told the state-run TV on Saturday commenting on the recent remarks made by the UN chief and German Chancellor.
Referring to certain media claims that Iran continues to seek illicit nuclear and missile technology, he said, “While we have foreseen a purchase channel in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (i.e. the last July nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers), there logically remains no need for the AEOI to buy a machine indirectly from the black market which is more costly and is prone to the risk of contamination.”
“We can buy the necessary equipment from its main origin, declare it to the purchase channel and they will then pave the way for us to buy the necessary equipment at a lower price, more rapidly and with higher quality and more trust,” Salehi added.
In relevant remarks earlier today, the Iranian foreign ministry also lashed out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her “unconstructive” comments against Tehran’s missile program, and underlined the country’s firm determination to continue progress in defense fields.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has announced many times that its missile program is fully defensive and has not been designed to carry nuclear warheads at all; therefore, it doesn’t violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and is no way related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers inked last July),” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly stated that it will highly strongly continue its missile program based on its defensive doctrines and national security calculus and such remarks have no influence on the country’s legitimate missile program at all,” he added.
Merkel said in the Bundestag on Thursday that Iran “continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council”.
Merkel claimed that NATO’s anti-missile system targets Iran’s rocket program and was “developed purely for defense”.
Also on Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Iran to stop conducting ballistic missile launches, saying they aren’t in the spirit of last summer’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Their claims came as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined on March the defensive nature of his country’s missile program, and advised foreign powers to adopt the policy of peace and friendship instead of enmity and distrust.
“Our people dislike tensions. Countries which have maintained the path of tension are advised to return to the path of peace and friendship. Those who unfairly took our missile test case to the UN Security Council came back disappointed,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran after a cabinet meeting.
“We have no intention to invade our neighbors. Our missile program is completely for defense purposes,” he added.
Also in February, Iranian Army Chief Commander Ataollah Salehi said Tehran will continue to develop its missile program as it doesn’t violate the terms of its recent nuclear deal with the world powers.
“We are fulfilling our work and will continue in the future to strengthen and develop our missile program,” Salehi said.