Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated the country’s policy on its missile program and said the domestically made ballistic missiles are only meant for defense and can never be subject to negotiation with foreigners, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“Iran’s missiles are defensive. We need them for deterrence,” Zarif told Al Jazeera in the Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday, rejecting US claims that Iran’s missile tests are in violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
“That is why we have said from the beginning that our missiles are not negotiable.”
The top diplomat also said that Iran spends far less on its military than other countries in the region.
He further emphasized that the US, itself, is the one that has violated the Resolution 2231 by withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Therefore, the US is not in a position to accuse Iran of violating the UNSC resolution, Zarif went on to say.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.
Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since US President Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Following the US exit from the nuclear deal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.
Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.
The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.