Defense Power a No-Go Area for Foreigners

Defense Power a No-Go Area for Foreigners

Following the meddlesome stance adopted by France on Iran's military and missile power, a senior official said the Islamic Republic's defense program is none of foreigners' business.
"Iran is an independent country and can defend itself in any way it sees fit whether with missiles or any other defensive means," Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution, told reporters in Tehran on Saturday, Press TV reported.
Iran cannot remain indifferent to moves aimed at equipping neighboring countries with arms on a daily basis, he noted.
The remarks came after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on February 27 expressed deep concern over Iran's ballistic missile program, saying it was necessary to avoid it becoming a factor that threatened Tehran's neighbors.
"There is a risk, and everything possible needs to be done to avoid this risk and take the necessary measures so that this ballistic threat is not such for all regional actors," Le Drian said in Moscow after talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

  Amicable Relationship
In reaction to the French foreign minister's comments, Velayati said Iran has peaceful relations with all its neighboring countries.
"Defensive preparedness is among basic rights of every nation and no country can decide for us or other states … which type of missile we can possess."
The senior official urged France not to make claims that it could not deliver on and expressed confidence that the Islamic Republic would not allow anyone to interfere in the type of defense equipment it can possess in the field of conventional weapons, whether missile or others.
"If the French foreign minister's [upcoming] visit [to Tehran] is aimed at strengthening relations, he'd better avoid taking such negative positions," Velayati pointed out.
Le Drian was to arrive in Iran on Monday evening to hold talks with senior Iranian authorities.
Iranian officials have repeatedly emphasized that the country's missile program is merely for defensive and deterrent purposes, stressing that it is not open to any negotiations.
However, US President Donald Trump is making constant efforts to link Iran's missile program to the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The US claims that Iran's missile program is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the nuclear deal.
Earlier on Saturday, a senior Iranian military commander said the Islamic Republic would hold no negotiations over its missile program unless the US and Europe dismantled their nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
"What Americans say out of desperation with regard to limiting Iran's missile capabilities is an unattainable dream resulting from their regional failures and defeats," Deputy Chairman of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Massoud Jazayeri said.


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