0830 GMT November 22, 2019
In an interview with ISNA, Zarif said, “We have announced that we will not ask permission from anyone to strengthen our defense and missile capability,” Press TV reported.
The top Iranian diplomat said the country’s missile program does not breach the July nuclear agreement struck between Tehran and six world powers and that the deal does not ban Iran from boosting its defense capabilities.
Zarif said that Iran’s missile program will continue apace and will be provided with all necessary materials and equipment.
He further dismissed as “unacceptable” claims by US officials that the Islamic Republic’s missile tests are in breach of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, saying none of the Iranian missiles have been designed to carry “nuclear warheads.”
On October 11, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) successfully test-fired its first guided ballistic missile dubbed Emad. Washington slammed the test, claiming the projectile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
In January, the US Treasury Department said in a statement that it had imposed new sanctions on several individuals and firms over Iran's ballistic missile program, claiming that the program “poses a significant threat to regional and global security”.
Iranian officials say none of the country’s missiles, including ballistic ones, has been “designed to carry nuclear warheads,” and thus their production and test are not in contravention of Resolution 2231.
Touching upon Iran’s relations with the United States, Zarif told ISNA that the US should abandon its “mentality of sanctions”.
“We are still waiting to see whether the US is serious in its commitments” concerning the lifting of sanctions, he noted.
Zarif criticized Washington’s “wrong” policies in the Middle East region.
“US policies even harm their own interests in the region since they have caused unrest and created Daesh [terrorist group].”
Zarif said Iranian officials have reached no agreement with US officials on regional issues, saying Tehran would take a decision on extending talks with the US should Americans “correct their policies”.