1157 GMT February 23, 2020
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s leader, said on Saturday that such acts of interference would discredit the French government in the eyes of Iranians.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that Tehran should be less aggressive in the region and should clarify the strategy around its ballistic missile program.
“It does not benefit Mr. Macron and France to interfere on the missile issue and the strategic affairs of the Islamic Republic, which we have great sensitivities about,” Velayati said in an interview with IRIB, Tasnim News Agency reported.
He added that Tehran will never ask for permission from anyone to enhance its missile program.
“What does this issue have to do with Mr. Macron? Who is he at all to interfere? If he wants relations between Iran and France to grow then he should try not to interfere in these issues.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has already rejected Macron’s comments, calling on Paris not to fall under the influence of the wrong anti-Iran claims and to convince its Persian Gulf allies to adopt rational and non-emotional policies.
US President Donald Trump has said Iranian missile activity should be curbed.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said the Islamic Republic’s missile program is for defense purposes and is not up for negotiation.
The program was not part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
France said on Wednesday it wanted an “uncompromising” dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Reuters wrote.
In another direct reaction to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday, who expressed concern about what he called Iran’s “hegemonic” intentions in the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said France and other Western nations need to adopt a “realistic” approach that helps soothe tensions in the region instead of taking “biased” stances that endanger peace and stability in the Middle East.
“Unfortunately, it seems like France has a one-sided and biased view towards the ongoing crises and humanitarian catastrophes in the Middle East,” Bahram Qassemi said on Thursday.
And this view fuels regional conflicts, "whether intentionally or unintentionally,” he added.