Iran Says It Will Negotiate Over Its Ballistic Missiles … After ‘Destruction’ Of West’s Nuclear Arsenal

Will Racke | Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

Iran won’t negotiate its ballistic missile development until the United States and Europe dismantle their nuclear weapons arsenals, a top Iranian military official said Saturday.

“The condition for negotiating Iran’s missiles is the destruction of the nuclear weapons and long-range missiles of the United States and Europe,” Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Masoud Jazayeri said, according to a Reuters report of an Iranian state media broadcast.

Jazayeri’s remarks come as President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to convince European allies to renegotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to include potential sanctions against Tehran for its ballistic missile program. Iran has accepted curbs on its nuclear program, but has refused to discuss missile development, which it says is defensive in nature.

The Trump administration has panned the nuclear deal — signed by the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran — for not addressing what it says are Tehran’s “destabilizing” activities in the Middle East, including missile testing and support for terrorist groups.

Earlier in 2018, Trump imposed a May deadline for U.S. and European negotiators to reach a new agreement that covers Iraninan activity outside the scope of the original deal. The White House is looking for a deal that beefs up international nuclear inspections and includes punitive measures for Iran’s ballistic missile tests and involvement in regional conflicts.

Trump has said he will refuse to waive sanctions against Iran if negotiators can’t agree on a revised framework.

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