Iran: Zarif’s missile remarks meant to challenge US, not signal negotiations
Iran says remarks by the country’s foreign minister about Iran’s missile program possibly being up for negotiations with the US meant to challenge Washington's arms sales policy to the region - and were not meant to indicate a readiness by Tehran for any such talks.
The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, tweeted late on Tuesday that Mohammad Javad Zari’s comments “threw the ball into the US court while challenging America’s arm sales” to its Mideast allies.
Zarif had said in an NBC News interview that if the US wants to talk about Iran’s missiles, “they need first to stop selling all these weapons, including missiles, to our region.”
Iran has long rejected negotiations over its missile program.
Iran's mission to the United Nations also described Zarif’s comments as purely “hypothetical.”
Iran reaffirmed that its ballistic missile program was not up for negotiation after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a White House cabinet meeting that Iran had signaled it was prepared to negotiate about it.
“Iran’s missiles ... are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country, period,” Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for the Iranian mission at the United Nations, wrote on Twitter.