NATO’s Anti-Iran Missile Claims “Baseless”

NATO’s Anti-Iran Missile Claims “Baseless”NATO’s Anti-Iran Missile Claims “Baseless”

Iran's Foreign Ministry denied as "repetitive and baseless" the allegations made against Tehran over its missile activities in a recent NATO statement.

In the statement released on July 9, NATO expressed "serious concern over the development of Iran's ballistic missile program and continuing missile tests", claiming that they "are inconsistent with UNSCR 2231."

Iran is "called upon" by the resolution to refrain from missile work designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

"NATO's statement is a repetition of the past  baseless allegations," the ministry spokesperson, Bahram Qasemi, was quoted by IRNA as saying on Monday.

"As we have frequently said, our missile [activity] is in line with the Islamic Republic's legitimate defense program and [the missiles] have not been designed to carry nuclear warheads," he said.

Resolution 2231 was adopted by the UN Security Council days after the conclusion of the July 2015 nuclear pact to endorse it and terminate all the previous UN sanctions against Iran.

January 16 marked the formal start of the full implementation of the deal, which was clinched with major powers following two years of negotiations to lift sanctions against Tehran in return for rolling back its nuclear program.

***No Breach

"Iran's missile program has nothing to do with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official title of the accord] and the nuclear negotiations, and as we have repeatedly stressed, it has not breached Resolution 2231," Qasemi added.

NATO's statement echoed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks in Berlin on Thursday, which were later denounced by Qasemi as "unconstructive".

He had said on Saturday that Merkel's views would have no bearing on Tehran's missile program, adding, "Iran will continue with full force its missile program based on its defensive plans and national security calculations."

Also, Germany's domestic intelligence agency has claimed in its annual report that Iranian efforts to illegally procure technology, especially in the nuclear area, had continued at a "high level" in 2015.

Iran has always denied its nuclear program may have been aimed at building nuclear bombs, saying it is solely for civilian purposes.

These developments have stemmed from a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticizing Tehran's missile tests as inconsistent "with the constructive spirit" of the JCPOA.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, criticized the comments by Ban and Merkel, and denied Iran had been trying to purchase nuclear technology on the black market.

"I feel they are cooking up a plot against us. We should be vigilant," Salehi was quoted as saying by Reuters.