Iran says US ending arms sales to Middle East would open ‘hypothetical’ path towards missile talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggested during an interview with NBC that if the US was interested in discussing the Islamic Republic’s missile program, “they need first to stop selling all these weapons, including missiles, to our region.”
Zarif argued in a tweet on Wednesday that Tehran was forced to develop its own missile program after the Islamic Republic was “showered” with foreign-made missiles during the Iran-Iraq war.
“We had no choice but building our own. Now they complain. Instead of skirting the issue, the US must end arms sales to Saddam’s reincarnations,” the Iranian diplomat wrote.
For 8 YEARS, Saddam showered our cities with missiles & bombs provided by East & West.Meanwhile, NO ONE sold Iran any means of defense.We had no choice but building our own. Now they complain.Instead of skirting the issue, US must end arms sales to Saddam's reincarnations. pic.twitter.com/rGGDk57WaB— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 17, 2019
His remarks to NBC interpreted by some as a policy shift, given that Tehran has repeatedly rejected negotiations over its missile program.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations appeared to dismiss this idea in a follow-up statement, describing Zarif’s comments as purely “hypothetical.”Also on rt.com Iran denies Pompeo claim that it is ready to negotiate ballistic missile program
Also downplaying the comments, foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted on Tuesday night that Zarif had “[thrown] the ball into the US court while challenging America's arm sales” to its Middle East allies.
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