No negotiations on missile capability: Iranian official

Official says Iran will enhance its defence and missile capability

TEHRAN – A senior Iranian official has said that Iran’s missile capability will not be part of any negotiations, as the Islamic Republic is determined to enhance that capability, a foreign TV reported on Monday.

“Iran’s defence capabilities will not be on the agenda of any negotiations, but Iran will enhance its defence and missile capability,” said Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The commander stressed that Iran’s missile know-how was completely indigenous. Hajizadeh also said that the West’s pressures against Iran over its nuclear energy programme were aimed at laying the groundwork for discussing missile capability and the country’s connection with Hezbollah movement in the course of nuclear talks.

He said that Iran woud never enter such discussions. “We are not optimistic about nuclear talk, but the administration should continue this process,” he said. Iranian officials have time and again stated that the nuclear issue will be the only subject on the agenda of the talks between Iran and the six powers and that Tehran will not negotiate over its missile capability.

Iran and the Sextet – the United States, the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia – wrapped up their latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna on May 16 with no tangible progress in writing the draft text of a comprehensive agreement. Iran has dismissed notions that the nuclear talks have reached a deadlock, and underlined its determination to continue the process.

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Aaj Kal