Lawmakers Defend Missile Program

It would be unwise to cancel a deal that has the broad support of the international community
Lawmakers Defend Missile ProgramLawmakers Defend Missile Program

Lawmakers dismissed an EU call on Iran to cease developing its missile program, arguing that any country is entitled to boosting its defense capabilities.

The European Council released a statement at the end of its meeting on Iran a week ago, in which the block asked the Islamic Republic to avoid conducting missile tests which, it said, would undermine the confidence that has built up after the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers.

"The council expresses its concern with the regional military buildup, including Iran's missile program, and calls upon Iran to refrain from activities that may deepen mistrust, such as ballistic missile tests that are inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and the statements associated with these," the statement said.

Resolution 2231 was adopted days after the conclusion of the accord in July last year to endorse it. Tehran has carried out several missile tests ever since while the resolution has "called upon" Iran to refrain from any work related to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Iran denies that its missiles are nuclear capable, saying they have been developed for use as a conventional deterrent.


Lawmaker Jalil Rahimi said Iran's missile activities are only aimed at improving national defense power.

"Article 51 of the UN Charter states that any country has the right to make and implement self-defense plans, so Iran is entitled to boost its defense and military sectors," he noted in an interview with ICANA on Sunday. The UN Charter says, "Nothing in the present charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security."

Ardeshir Nourian, another member of parliament, said Iran's boosted missile power would help strengthen its stabilizing role in the region. "Improving the Islamic Republic's defense power will help promote peace and stability in regional countries," he said, citing Iran's advisory missions in Iraq and Syria that have helped loosen the grip of terrorist groups, particularly the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, on the two war-ravaged Arab countries.

Lawmaker Mohammad Javad Kolivand said Iran's missile program is not negotiable and Tehran will never seek the West's approval on its missile development plans.



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