Iran's missile programme is non-negotiable, says Rouhani

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran's missile programme, seen by Washington as a threat to regional stability, was non-negotiable and that U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden is 'well aware of it'. Biden's victory has raised the possibility that Washington could rejoin a deal Iran reached with world powers in 2015, and he appears to see a return as a prelude to wider talks on Iran's nuclear work, its ballistic missiles and regional activities.

Reuters December 15, 2020 00:10:32 IST
Iran's missile programme is non-negotiable, says Rouhani

Irans missile programme is nonnegotiable says Rouhani

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran's missile programme, seen by Washington as a threat to regional stability, was non-negotiable and that U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden is "well aware of it".

Biden's victory has raised the possibility that Washington could rejoin a deal Iran reached with world powers in 2015, and he appears to see a return as a prelude to wider talks on Iran's nuclear work, its ballistic missiles and regional activities.

But Tehran has ruled out halting its missile programme or changing its regional policy, and instead has demanded a change in U.S. policy, including the lifting of sanctions and compensation for the economic damage caused during the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear accord.

"The Americans were trying for months to add the missile issue (to the nuclear talks) and this was rejected. (President Donald) Trump was uninformed and did not know about the matter, but Mr. Biden is well aware of the details of the deal," Rouhani told a televised news conference in Tehran.

"I have not heard Biden say that we have to reach another agreement in order to return to the nuclear deal, that is what Trump says," Rouhani said.

Iran has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, regarding such weapons as an important deterrent and retaliatory force against U.S. and other adversaries - primarily Gulf Arabs - in the region in the event of war.

For its part, the West sees Iran's missiles both as a conventional military threat to regional stability and a possible delivery mechanism for nuclear weapons should Tehran develop them.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have risen since 2018, when President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal, and restored harsh economic sanctions to pressure Tehran into negotiating stricter curbs on its nuclear program, ballistic missile development and support for regional proxy forces.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous, William Maclean)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.