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Senior army commander rules out negotiations on Iran missile program

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on July 22, 2017, shows Sayyad-3 air defense missiles during the inauguration of its production line. (Photo by AP)

A senior commander of the Iranian Armed Forces says the Islamic Republic vehemently rejects any request for negotiations about its missile capability.

"Our country's defense prowess, as the main deterrent against the enemies of the Islamic Revolution, will always be on the path to progress,” Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Saturday.

He added that in addition to clear guidelines issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on boosting the country's defense power, the Iranian nation and officials are also in agreement in this regard.

The senior commander advised all those who pass opinions about the Islamic Republic not to meddle in the country's defense and missile program.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Iran’s Army cadets in October, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran’s defense might was not up for negotiation, stressing the country’s resolve to strengthen its defense capabilities despite enemy attempts to weaken the nation.

France has called for an “uncompromising” dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and possible negotiations over the issue separate from the multilateral nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries more than two years ago.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is defensive and rejected the possibility of any negotiation on it.

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