Iran Rejects French Calls to Stop Developing Missile Program

Iran Rejects French Calls to Stop Developing Missile Program

Monday, 5 March, 2018 - 19:00
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council rejected on Monday International calls on Tehran to stop the development of its ballistic missile program.

“Our missile work is... in line with our defensive policy, which poses no threat to any country,” the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, told visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, according to state TV.

Earlier, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted an Iranian armed forces spokesman as saying Iran’s missile development would “continue non-stop and foreign powers have no right to intervene on this issue”.

Hardline Iranian media reacted angrily to Le Drian’s visit with headlines like “The Rude Guest” and “Weapons of mass seduction”. Fars news agency said a group of hardliners gathered at Tehran’s International Mehrabad Airport and in front of Iran’s Foreign Ministry to protest at Le Drian’s visit.

The French minister had arrived in Iran on Sunday on a delicate mission to reaffirm Europe’s support for a nuclear deal that opened Iran’s economy, while echoing US concern about Tehran’s missile program and role in regional conflicts.

After a day of tough talks with senior Iranian officials, who all repeated that Tehran would not bow to Western pressure to scrap its ballistic missile tests, Le Drian said there remained “much work to do” with Iran.

“We’re not going to be Donald Trump’s envoys or Iran’s defense lawyers,” said a French diplomatic source. “We have our own concerns and will talk to the different sensibilities of the Iranian system to get our point across.”

Editor Picks

Multimedia