First published: February 1, 2017, 8:06 AM IST | Updated: 7 mins ago
File image of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (Image: Reuters)
Tehran: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran will never use ballistic missiles to attack other nations, nor will it produce nuclear warheads, but it reserves the right to self-defence.
Giving a press conference on Tuesday, alongside his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, Zarif said that the missiles aren’t part of the nuclear accords.
“Iran will never use missiles produced in Iran to attack any other country. No Iranian missiles have been produced to carry nuclear warheads,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
Zarif was responding to international reports that Iran had recently carried out ballistic missile tests.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in 2015, saw the Islamic Republic agree to downscale its nuclear program in exchange for the alleviation of international sanctions.
That deal was struck between Iran, the European Union and the P5+1 group (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China — plus Germany).
Responding earlier on Tuesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the Alliance was investigating the incident.
The United States and Israel reportedly called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to the reports of the Iranian ballistic missile testing to be held at the New York headquarters.
Russia, a fellow signatory in the nuclear accord, came out in defence of Iran’s ballistic missile testing and accused the United Nations of “heating up the situation” by calling for a meeting.
Late on Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his opposition to the Iran missile tests on Twitter, saying: “Iran launched a ballistic missile again. This is a flagrant violation of the Security Council.”