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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

FM Spox: Missiles are for self-defense

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Feb 6, IRNA -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday that missiles are for the sake of self-defense and Iran is not going to use them as a tool to send a message to others.

"We move based on our specified interest and timetable; so, missile test is not a sign to the US ruling elite," Qasemi told his weekly press conference.

He noted that based on the insight Iran has of the new and former US administrations, there is no longer any need to test any body. "(The US President, Donald) Trump's testing is over."

He announced that over recent days, Trump and his colleagues made comments on different global issues and let's wait and see what would be their fate.

On the outcome of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin's envoy for Syrian affairs with Iranian officials , Qasemi said the visit of Putin's envoy to Iran falls in line with regular and consecutive visits of Iranian and Russian officials on Syria.

"In yesterday's talks, the two sides discussed latest developments in Syria and issues ahead; we hope the understandings will be effective and the path Iran, Russia and Turkey started will be effective in stabilization and fixing of ceasefire."

He emphasized that Iran's Syria stance has not changed.

Time is left for Geneva session and it cannot be predicted how and under what conditions will the session be held, said the official, adding, "Eventually, those are people of Syria to decide about the fate of Syria. We continue to support territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria and establishment of peace, stability and security in the country."

On composition of Iran's envoys to Astana expert talks on Syria, Qasemi said it was technical and expert delegation and the duty specified for it was coordinating more outstanding role in stabilization of ceasefire in Syria. 'The session of experts of the three countries is underway and I am not informed of presence of other countries."

To a question on Iran's reciprocal action towards recent US' anti-Iran sanctions, Qasemi said there was understanding on taking certain special measures in reaction to the unfair and wrong measures of the US, putting a number of American institutions, individuals and companies in the sanctions list for helping such Takfiri elements as Daesh (the ISIS) and the groups collaborating with the Zionist regime to suppress the oppressed people of Palestine.

"The issue is under investigation and we hope to publish and officially announce a list of the people and companies,' Qasemi added.

Then, Qasemi shifted to the anti-Iran claims of British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and of Zionist regime's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that a triad anti-Iran coalition had been formed and said as for the Zionist regime's coalition with the UK and the US, it should be said, "Usually, Zionist regime had such expectations and it is not something new."

He said, "The Zionist regime has been in efforts in every juncture of the Islamic Republic's life against interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran, of Muslims and of the people of Palestine."

"Netanyahu feels he is availed with a chance and he wants to use it, but I think this is among immature and false dreams of Zionists because the conditions neither in Iran nor in the region and the world will be ripe for such an event."

He said the Zionist regime's efforts are not natural and are in vain because they will not achieve their goals.

Commenting on claims by Theresa May, Qasemi said during her visit to Bahrain to attend the summit of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council she (May) had taken wrong and unjustified stances and "We in turn raised our diplomatic protest and was accountable openly."

"Such approaches are unreal and opportunistic, raised under special conditions. I think it is unlikely for the UK to take action in the framework in the long-run because more than any other countries they are familiar with Persian Gulf and Muslim world issues."

The spokesman said critical condition of Britain after Brexit and consequent events forced London to superficially turn to the oil income of certain Persian gulf states and to the new US administration, thus succeeding to prevent more losses.

"I don't think the UK would be able to turn a blind eye to historical and current realities of the region in the mid-term, taking the standing and role of Iran with a mono-dimensional look into the region."

To a question on the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault's visit to Iran and its coincidence with the joint war game of France, the UK and the US, he said, "We are interested that the Persian Gulf will be a safe region, away of military and political tensions and will not witness such war games and military maneuvers.'

He went on to say, "The reality is that many countries always hold such war games in many points and such events are pre-decided and preparation of the ground for it will take time. The neighboring states should disseminate information and inform them of their war games. The maneuver was held in Bahrain waters and French Foreign Minister's visit was pre-scheduled. So, I don't think it is a complicated issue, though the move is criticized both due to the countries being present in it and because of Bahrain government which thinks it can cover up its domestic problems by inviting certain countries. Such a move is not defendable and we have expressed our opinion through special channels; we follow up all moves in the region, especially Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. We assess any move with the criteria of security and stability of the region and Iran and in that concern, Iran will have necessary reaction."

He ruled out reports that Iran had relations with Sudan. "I rule out any claim that Iran interfered in Sudan; we have not had any relations with the country for a long time; we do not have any embassy and cultural attaché there either. Our cultural center was closed down by Sudanese government sooner than these (such claims); such a claim is not logical. Such claims are baseless and illogical. It is well clear for us from where and how, in which way and by which tool and channel such allegations are made. "

He condemned expansion of Jewish settlements by the Zionist regime and the US consent with that, and said, "Our opinion about Palestine people and resistance and Palestinian groups has always been clear and we expressed them and paid a dear cost for them. Expansion of Jewish settlement by the regime is absolutely unwise, condemned and inhuman and I think many countries and international associations have condemned it."

On Trump's visa ban on nationals of seven Muslim countries, Qasemi said the decision is wrong, immoral and unfair, having its due repercussions. "Naturally the US judicial system should take its own action on the basis of the US laws. Since the beginning, many analysts had in their analyses and words raised the issue and questioned whether the move will last for 90 days? I cannot imagine that the judicial system will be able to proceed with the task eventually. But I think the condition will not be continued and would rather cause wave of opposition against the US government."

He commented on the visit of Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araqchi to Moscow in connection with the JCPOA and the Trump-Putin relations, and said Iran is in talks with Moscow on many issues, either issues relating to nuclear or other issues.

"Yesterday, Putin's special envoy to Syria was in Tehran and held detailed talks with (Head of the Supreme National Security Council Ali) Shamkhani. The visit falls within framework of consultation between the two countries."

He then commented on re-opening of the JCPOA case by the US and said it will not be to the interest of the US and the world.

To the end of his remarks, Qasemi said contrary to efforts underway, Iran's relations with Azerbaijan are deep and age-old and cannot be harmed by others.

He concluded that such issues and allegations cannot harm the Iran-Azerbaijan relations the least and there is no room to contemplate on it.

1420**2050



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