Iranian Negotiator: Missile Program ‘Non-Negotiable’

Iran negotiations

Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi. (Photo: iran-daily.com)

Recent statements by Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator make clear that the Islamic Republic has no intention of compromising.

Senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi declared this week that Iran’s missile program “is not negotiable with any country,” the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports.

Araqchi made the statement in reaction to remarks by US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who, commenting on the launch of Iran’s Fajr satellite, told journalists:

“Iran’s missile program continues to pose a dangerous threat to the region and is an issue we monitor closely. Our longstanding concerns regarding Iran’s missile development efforts are shared by the international community, which has passed a series of UN Security Council resolutions focused on Iran’s proliferation-sensitive activities.”

Iran’s missile program is among the issues being discussed in the negotiations between the P5+1 powers and Iran, Psaki said, including “how to deal with the ballistic missile capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads. That issue has been discussed and will continue to be discussed as part of the negotiations.”

Araqchi responded to Psaki’s statements by claiming that Iran’s missile program was of a defensive nature, adding that Iran “is by no means going to negotiate its defense issues with any foreigners.”

The launching of the Fajr satellite, which was accomplished by “domestic experts and indigenous technology,” serves to promote the long-term programs of Iran to sustain its presence in the space “for telecommunication purposes,” Araqchi said.

An intercontinental ballistic missile is test-launched. (Shutterstock)

An intercontinental ballistic missile is test-launched. (Shutterstock)

The Safir satellite-carrier, which launched Fajr in the orbit, was also designed and built by Iranian Defense Ministry experts with “totally peaceful purposes,” IRNA quotes him as saying.

The Foreign Ministry official stressed that never before, during its nuclear negotiations with Western countries, has Iran allowed any discussion of its “peaceful missile program.”

Araqchi’s statements were made just days after Israeli media reported that the Obama administration had caved in to most of Iran’s demands regarding its nuclear aspirations. European diplomats fear that the US acquiesced in return for an assurance of regional calm and stability, Israel’s IDF Radio reported on Tuesday.

On Friday, Israel’s Channel 10 quoted Israeli officials, who said that the Obama Administration “has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want.”

Israeli security officials said in late January that Iran has developed new missiles that can hit any target in Europe. The report clarified that these missiles could be used for civilian purposes, such as the launching of spacecraft and satellites, but also for offensive purposes. According to the report, the missile production was making “very rapid progress.”

By World Israel News staff