Tehran calls on Paris to ‘stop repeating irresponsible claims’ on Iran’s missile program
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has criticized the French Foreign Ministry’s provocative comments about Iran’s ballistic missile program, urging Paris to avoid repeating such “irresponsible and incorrect” claims regarding the Islamic Republic’s defensive programs.
“It is expected from France to stop echoing incorrect claims made by those who are against the JCPOA,” the senior diplomat further said, referring to Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and in a clear reference to the United States that unilaterally withdrew from the landmark accord last year.
The Iranian diplomat made the remarks on Friday, hours after French Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll called on Tehran to “immediately cease all ballistic missile-related activities designed to carry nuclear weapons, including tests using ballistic missile technology.”
“Contrary to the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman’s claim, Iran’s missile program has neither been established for non-conventional purposes, nor the country’s natural right to strengthen its scientific and defensive capabilities as developed in the form of missile program is in violation of [UN Security Council] Resolution 2231,” said Qassemi.
The statement from the French ministry came just a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran’s domestically-manufactured rockets would carry two new satellites into orbit in the coming weeks.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Iran’s planned launch of space rockets and missiles breaches Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed Pompeo’s claim, saying Washington has already violated that resolution and thus cannot “lecture” Tehran on it.
“We strongly believe that any attempt to induce and impose a wrong interpretation of Resolution 2231 regarding Iran’s missile program is an irresponsible act,” Qassemi further said, stressing that in any part of the resolution the Islamic Republic has not been prevented from developing defensive and conventional missile program and those with scientific application.
He also reiterated that Iran’s home-grown missile program is defensive, national and conventional, adding that it is not only legitimate but also “the Iranian nation’s natural right.”
Since its JCPOA exit in May, the administration of US President Donald Trump has unleashed its “toughest ever” sanctions against Iran. It has also warned of severe penalties for companies that evade the bans and engage in business dealings with the Islamic Republic.