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Iran says missile programme not negotiable amid international pressure Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Iran says missile programme not negotiable amid international pressure

Relations between Iran and France have been strained since last month [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2017

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Iranian foreign ministry reiterates to France its no negotiation stance on their missile programme

France should know Iran's missile programme is not an issue open to negotiation, said Bahram Qassemi, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson, on Monday.

"French officials, other officials, who want to speak about Iran’s affairs need to pay attention to the deep developments that have come to pass in the region in past decades and the big changes between the current situation and the past," Qassemi said, according to state media.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will definitely not negotiate on defence and missile issues."

Relations between Iran and France have been strained since last month when French president, Emmanuel Macron, said Iran needs to be less aggressive in the region, and should clarify its ballistic missile programme.

Last month Qassemi accused France of echoing "warmongering" Saudi concerns and stoking regional tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

"Unfortunately it seems that France has a biased and partisan approach to the crises in the region and this approach, whether intentionally or not, is even contributing to turning potential crises into real ones."

Qassemi urged the international community to focus instead on "arms sales by some foreign powers to regional countries, which are used in particular in the devastating war in Yemen, and the support being given to Saudi Arabia and its allies, which only makes them more brazen."

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen in a bid to reassert the authority of the country's president.

Riyadh accuses Tehran of backing the rebels, who have also fired missiles into Saudi Arabia.

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