0653 GMT October 20, 2018
Iran’s government again ruled out negotiations with US President Donald Trump over Tehran’s military capabilities and regional influence, saying that such talks would be against the values of the Islamic Republic.
Trump withdrew the United States last month from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.
He said the deal was deeply flawed as it had not curbed Iran’s ballistic missile program or reined in its support for Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and said Washington would reimpose tough sanctions on Tehran.
“We have the scientific ability to increase our missile range but it is not our current policy since most of the enemies’ strategic targets are already within this range. It is enough to protect the Islamic Republic...,” Major General Mohammad Ali Ja’fari was quoted as saying by Tasnim News Agency.
Ja’fari also said on Tuesday previous negotiations with the United States about Iran’s nuclear program were “an exception”.
On Saturday, over 100 activists associated with the moderate and reformist camps in Iranian politics welcomed Trump’s deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un envisaging a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement published by Iranian media, the activists urged Tehran to start direct negotiations with Washington to resolve decades of enmity between the two countries dating to Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Jafari said “If we don’t say optimistically that they are not traitors to the people and not anti-revolutionaries, we must say that there are problems in the intellectual foundations of their approaches and views”.
Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht echoed Ja’fari’s remarks. “There are no grounds or logic to talk to such a person (Trump). Public opinion would not welcome that either,” Nobakht was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Ja’fari said previously that the range of Iran’s ballistic missiles was based on limits set by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who commands the Armed Forces.