“Iran’s missiles are not up for discussion under any circumstances,” Gen. Dehqan said. “Iran’s missiles are only our concern ... We don’t accept any intervention from anybody on this issue.” (Fars News Agency, 16 April)
Dehqan’s stand on the issue might become a problem when the negotiators focus their talks on lifting the UN Security Council’s sanctions against Iran. UNSC Resolution 1929 prohibits Iran from deploying ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The ban does not address specific types of missiles, but long-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles are designed to only carry nuclear warheads, which could form the basis of an agreement between the two sides on the issue.
Iran has a robust ballistic missile program; consisting of short and medium-range missiles whose ranges do not exceed 2,000 km. Iran considers them as its main deterrent force, capable of hitting Israel, Gulf Arab states, and U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf.
Iran nuclear talks will resume on 13 May in Vienna.
File photo: Iran's MRBM Shahab-3 (Satyar Emami/FNA)