MP: No Talk of Iran’s Missile Capabilities in N. Negotiations

MP: No Talk of Iran’s Missile Capabilities in N. Negotiations

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Iranian lawmaker reiterated that the country’s defensive capabilities, including its advanced missile program, will never be up for negotiation in the course of nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers.

Speaking to Tasnim on Thursday, Esmail Kowsari, member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy commission, stressed that the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany) would by no means cover the issue of Iran’s missile capabilities.

Kowsari also made a reference to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s insistence that Iran-Sextet negotiations should exclusively deal with the nuclear issue , saying the lawmakers have already warned that there is no room for “talk of Iran’s ballistic missiles” in the nuclear negotiations.

His comments came after representatives from Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) launched a decisive phase of diplomacy on Wednesday in the Austrian capital city of Vienna to draft a lasting accord, meant to end years of Western standoff over Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.

In relevant remarks prior to the resumption of Vienna talks, Iran’s foreign minister and chief negotiator underlined that the issue of the country’s defensive capabilities will by no means be mooted in the nuclear negotiations.

“I assure you that the Islamic Republic’s defense and our defensive capabilities will not be the subject of negotiations,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday.

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