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Iran defense might not open to talks, compromise: Qassemi

14 November 2016 20:13

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The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says the Islamic Republic’s missile power is a matter of defense, which is not open to any negotiations or compromise at all.

“Iran’s missile tests are carried out within the framework of the country’s defense policies and Iran’s defense capabilities are not open to negotiation or compromised at all,” Bahram Qassemi said on Monday in reaction to a statement issued by the European Union’s foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

In their statement, the EU foreign ministers expressed concern over Iran’s missile program and called upon the Islamic Republic to refrain from activities “which may deepen mistrust, such as ballistic missile tests, which are inconsistent with” the Security Council Resolution 2231 and the associated statements.

Iran has repeatedly announced that its missile launches are not against the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed a nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on July 14, 2015.

Under the JCPOA, which took effect in January, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related bans imposed against Tehran.

Resolution 2231 (2015) provides for the termination of the provisions of previous Security Council resolutions on the Iranian nuclear program, and calls on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

Elsewhere, Qassemi welcomed EU’s keenness to further expand relations with Iran and the bloc’s reaffirmation of its commitment to the JCPOA but called for the complete removal of banking restrictions.

“Despite considerable achievements made at different levels of cooperation and the existing enormous potential to deepen and expand relations, the definitive settlement of banking issues will be a key and decisive factor in the expansion of trade and economic cooperation and the implementation of joint projects,” the Iranian spokesperson said.

The EU statement had said it would keep pushing to restore ties with Iran in line with the JCPOA, adding, “The European Union reiterates its resolute commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

“The European Union reiterates the need for continued full and effective implementation of the JCPOA throughout the lifetime of the agreement,” the bloc’s foreign ministers said.

“The European Union is committed to support the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA including by the lifting of nuclear related economic and financial sanctions and engaging with the private sector and economic operators, especially banks, to promote growth in trade and investment.”

Also in his comments, Qassemi said the EU should take “practical measures” to advance the processes of Iran joining the World Trade Organization.

He also dismissed allegations leveled by the EU over the human rights situation in Iran and expressed the country’s readiness to hold mutual talks on the issue in a peaceful atmosphere.

The spokesman said Iran has always played a decisive role in establishing stability and security in the region and made great efforts to solve the existing crises in the Middle East through peaceful and political approaches.

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