Lawmaker: Iran’s Missile Development Program a Redline

Lawmaker: Iran’s Missile Development Program a Redline Lawmaker: Iran’s Missile Development Program a Redline

Iran will never consider compromising on its strategic missile program, which is a conventional deterrent, a lawmaker said in response to intensified western criticism of Tehran's missile activities.

"Missile activities are one of the redlines of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It will never relinquish its rightful stance under the pressure of the Iranophobia campaign waged by the US and other western countries," Jahanbakhsh Mohebbinia also said in an interview with ICANA on Saturday.

He was responding to a recent call by Britain's UN envoy, Matthew Rycroft, for new sanctions on the Islamic Republic to punish its missile activities.

"We remain concerned by Iran's ballistic missile program and urge all member states to continue to enforce the sanctions regime on ballistic missile technology, and to act on and report all suspected violations," Rycroft said in a statement to the United Nations on Wednesday. 

This is while UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said in his briefing to the UN Security Council on Resolution 2231 that no information was received regarding Iranian ballistic missile activities or ballistic missile-related transfers to the country undertaken contrary to the relevant provisions of the resolution.

The council adopted the resolution in July 2015 days after the conclusion of the Iran nuclear accord to endorse it. It calls on Iran to refrain from any work related to developing nuclear-capable missiles.

Long-time arch foes Iran and the United States agreed to engage in nuclear negotiations in 2013 that also involved five other powers and led to a historic agreement on July 14, 2015.

It became effective as of Jan. 16, 2016, to put an end to international sanctions in return for rolling back Tehran's nuclear work.

  Matter of National Security  

Iranian officials ruled out further talks with the US to discuss other points of dispute, including the Islamic Republic's missile development projects, a position Mohebbinia reiterated. "Iran's defensive missile capabilities are absolutely non-negotiable and the Islamic Republic will not cease boosting this sector because bolstering the defensive power is an element of every country's national security," he said. 

Morteza Saffari, another parliamentarian, on Sunday echoed Mohebbinia's view that Iran missile program is a matter of national security and accused the West of meddling in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs. 

"The security of any country is basically a function of its defensive capabilities … All countries are entitled by international law and the UN Charter to strengthen their defense and military power. So the interference of the US and other western courtiers in Iran's missile issue is illegal and inappropriate," he said. 

Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful applications and that none of its missiles has been designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Major powers agree that the request in the resolution is not legally binding, but western nations consider it a ban and say there is a "political obligation" on Iran to comply.  

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints