TEHRAN: Iran rejected on Sunday a call by French president Emmanuel Macron for talks on Tehran’s ballistic missiles, saying they were defensive and unrelated to a nuclear agreement with world powers.
On Thursday, Macron said during a visit to Dubai that he was “very concerned” by Iran’s ballistic missile programme, mentioning a missile fired from Yemen and intercepted by Saudi Arabia earlier in November. He raised the prospect of possible sanctions with regard to those activities.
“There are negotiations we need to start on Iran’s ballistic missiles,” Macron said.
But Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi rejected that possibility. “France is fully aware of our country’s firm position that Iran’s defence affairs are not negotiable,” he said.
“We have told French officials repeatedly that the nuclear deal is not negotiable and other issues will not be allowed to be added to it,” Qassemi said, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of supplying Yemen’s Houthi rebels with a missile that was fired into Saudi Arabia in July and called for the United Nations to hold Tehran accountable for violating two UN Security Council resolutions.