Iran denies ‘prepared’ for talks on missile programme

Tehran: Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday “categorically” denied the reports that Tehran is ready to talk with powers over its ballistic missile programme.

Iran has repeatedly announced that “its defence programme will never be subject to negotiations,” Xinhua cited IRNA news agency that quoted spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

Developing “missile programme is Iran’s inalienable right and will determinedly be continued in line with the country’s strategic and conventional defence programme,” said Qasemi.

On Friday, western media quoted an unnamed source as saying that Iran has suggested to six world powers that it may be open to talks about its ballistic missile arsenal, seeking to reduce tension over the disputed programme.

Iran and the US are at loggerheads over Iran’s missile programme. Over the past months, Washington has imposed sanctions on some Iranian and international entities linked with Tehran’s missile tests.

Iranian military and governmental officials have unanimously vowed to bolster ballistic missile programme for deterrent purposes.