Iran ballistic missile programme non-negotiable

Iran provided capability for missile attacks from Yemen

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has responded to the call of the French President to hold talks on the country's ballistic missile program, firmly rejecting the idea and noting that it is exclusively defensive in nature.

"We have told French leaders on several occasions that the Iran nuclear deal is not negotiable and that no other issues can be included in the text" of the agreement, the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying on November 11.

Macron, during a visit to Dubai on Thursday, said he was "very concerned" by Tehran's missile programme after Saudi Arabia claimed it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen last month.

France is "fully aware of our country's intangible position concerning the issue of Iran's defensive affairs, which are not negotiable", he added.

Washington has also called for the United Nations to hold Tehran accountable for violating two United Nations security Council resolutions.

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Tehran says it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles and the missile programme is for defence purposes. Paris, according to the spokesman, should remain "realistic, fair and farsighted" over "sensitive developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf regions".

"Responsible approach would oblige France to convince its regional allies to undertake more shrewd approaches and policies free from sentimentalism", articulated Mr. Qassemi. He then mentioned that "there are extremely strong concerns about Iran" among its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf.

He called on the French government to adopt "tangible strategies" and compel its allies in the region to put an immediate end to war and bloodshed in Yemen with the goal of establishing peace and stability in the impoverished country.

When asked whether Saudi Arabia was headed for a direct conflict with Iran, Al-Jubeir replied, "We hope not".

Tehran has dismissed the accusation, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stating that Riyadh was trying to blame others for the consequences of its aggression in Yemen.

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