Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in the nuclear talks with the world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi underscored that the country has never allowed the western parties to raise the issue of Iran’s missile program during the negotiations.
“The Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) countries insist on negotiations over the missile program (of Iran) due to its inclusion in the (previous UN Security Council) resolutions (against Iran but) we have stated to them that our country’s defense systems are not negotiable,” Araqchi said, addressing a forum of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) political officials in Tehran on Wednesday.
“We have announced it very clearly and explicitly and we have never allowed them to start talks about our defense systems and won’t allow them to do so to the end (of the talks with the world powers),” he stressed.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said the western states’ demand for restricting Iran’s missile capability is foolish.
“They expect Iran to limit its missile program while they continue posing military threats against Iran, and hence, such an expectation is foolish and silly,” Ayatollah Khamenei said during a tour of the exhibition of the IRGC Aerospace Force.
The Supreme Leader reiterated that the irrational statements of the western countries in their talks with Iran indicate their complete failure vis-à-vis the Iranian nation.
“The IRGC Aerospace Force should precisely advance its works and plans and should not be satisfied with its status quo,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Supreme Leader underlined that the IRGC Aerospace Force should mass produce its products, and said, “This issue is a duty and all military officials should channel their efforts onto this path and government officials should also view this as among their main duties.”
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in developing and manufacturing its essential needs to military tools, weapons, equipment and systems.
Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.