Iran rules out any negotiation over its defense capabilities

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-05 02:50:04|Editor: huaxia

TEHRAN, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Iran has never negotiated its own defense capabilities and will never do so, semi-official news agency Fars reported.

As for Iran's defense capabilities, there has never been and will never be any negotiation, Saeed Khatibzadeh, the ministry spokesman, said at a weekly press briefing held in the capital Tehran.

The spokesman's statement came a day after Jake Sullivan, national security advisor-designate for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said Iran's missile program "has to be on the table" in follow-on negotiations, provided Washington re-enters the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The question of Iran's missiles is mentioned in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal, as well as in the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsing the agreement, said Khatibzadeh, commenting on Sullivan's remarks.

The question is "settled," he added.

The U.S. government actually "knows" that Iran's nuclear activities are of peaceful nature, the spokesman noted.

As a result, the issue of missiles is of secondary importance, and that is why UN sanctions related to Iran's missiles began to be lifted from Jan. 16, 2016 according to the JCPOA's timetable, he said.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, has also said the IRGC's missile power would never be subject to negotiations, Tasnim News Agency reported Saturday.

"No (Iranian) official is allowed to negotiate about the missile power, and this is our red line," Hajizadeh said.

Iran has decided to restrict the range of its missiles to 2,000 km, but that limitation is not eternal, he noted. Enditem