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Iran: West must scrap its nuclear arms

Iran's Ghadr-F missile on display south of Tehran [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 March, 2018

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Iran's armed forces said it will not negotiate over its missiles unless the West dismantles their nuclear weapons.

A spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said Iran will not negotiate over its ballistic missiles until the West first dismantles its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, Reuters reported.

Iran has curbed its nuclear programme – which it maintains is for peaceful purposes – but has refused to discuss its missile programme.

Iran says its missile program is defensive and not part of the P5+1 nuclear deal penned in 2015.

Last month, Iran’s foreign minister met with former Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Kerry reportedly urged Tehran not to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal.

According to the New Yorker, during the meeting “Kerry quietly urged the Iranians not to abandon the deal or violate its terms – whatever the Trump administration does”.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi confirmed that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “has always met on the sidelines of such international summits with attending personalities and elites … in the framework of preserving Iranian interests”.

US President Donald Trump has been a harsh critic of the nuclear deal. During the 2016 presidential election, he threatened to pull the US out.

In January, President Trump also said he would waive sanctions against Iran for the last time – giving Congress an ultimatum to “either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw”.

Meanwhile, European states have begun talks with Tehran as part of an effort to show the US president that they are addressing his concerns about the nuclear deal.

The United States currently has over 4000 nuclear warheads. The US is both the first country to develop nuclear weapons and the only country to have used them in combat. 

Israel is widely believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power. 

"Anyway, Iranians can’t use one if they finally make one. The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we [the US] have thousands," said former US Secretary of State Colin Powell in a leaked email from 2014.  

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