Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated the country’s policy on its missile program and said the United States is in no position to talk about the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Zarif made the remarks Saturday in an interview with Aljezeera, which was held on the sidelines of Doha Forum 2018.
In response to a question concerning the US claims on Iran missile tests, Zarif said, “First, Iran's missiles are defensive, we need them for deterrence, we use far less for military and anybody else in the region and that is why we have said from the beginning that our missiles are not negotiable.”
“The second point is that the United States is in clear violation of the Security Council Resolution 2231 by withdrawing from the JCPOA [Iran nuclear deal] so it puts them in no position to talk about that resolution because they have tried to destroy the resolution. The resolution stands in spite of them not because of them,” he added.
The third point is that the resolution is very clear. It does not prohibit Iran from testing missiles but the resolution refers to missiles that are designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads and the nuclear deal and Resolution 2231 have verified that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, the Iranian foreign minister added.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.
JCPOA, a major achievement
Commenting on the future of the nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), Zarif said, “I think this deal is a major diplomatic achievement in which the entire international community believes and which the entire international community wants to uphold.”
“The United States has done its best to undermine it to destroy it but the rest of the world don’t seem to be prepared to simply accept the US bully,” he added.
Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since US President Donald Trump walked away from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Zarif stressed that US sanctions will have no impact on the policies of the Islamic Republic at home or abroad, AFP reported.
"It is obvious that we are facing pressure by the US sanctions. But will that lead to a change in policy? I can assure you it won't," Zarif told the Doha Forum policy conference in Qatar.
"If there is an art we have perfected in Iran and can teach to others for a price, it is the art of evading sanctions," he added.
The US imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran this year, after earlier unilaterally pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal with global powers.
Zarif also once again rejected the allegations that Iran provides weapons to the Houthi movement in Yemen.
He said there were only "allegations" that Iran had sent weapons to Yemen, whereas there were "facts" that other countries had shipped arms.
"I don't need to show any evidence about the jets that were flying in Yemen bombing the Yemenis.
"Those are American-made jets and those are Saudi fighters, I assume, which are piloting those jets," Zarif said.
Zarif said the United States and its ally Saudi Arabia were responsible for the "humanitarian nightmare" in war-torn Yemen.
"We've never provided weapons to Houthis. The Houthis use the weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia ... with Saudi money buying weapons from Russia, buying weapons from China, and buying weapons from North Korea ... You are looking at the wrong address if you ask Iran," Zarif said, according to Sputnik.
He said they bought them from Saudi Arabia when Ali Abdullah Saleh was in power.
Riyadh seeking tension
Saudi Arabia is interested in increasing tensions in the region, and the examples of blockade of Qatar and the military operation in Yemen prove that, the Iranian top diplomat said.
"Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia does not want to reduce tensions.”
“Actually, Saudi Arabia believes that it is in its interest to increase tensions. Look at what they did with Qatar. Look at how they imprisoned the prime minister of another country. Look at what they are doing in Yemen," Zarif said.