Iran government on Wednesday dismissed suggestions by its foreign minister that the nation was willing to discuss its missile programmes with the US.
According to Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s UN Mission, its ballistic missile programme was not up for negotiation.
Miryousefi also took to Twitter and said, “Iran’s missiles … are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country, period (sic)”.
His denial comes after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested in an interview that the missiles could be up for discussion if sanctions are lifted, the BBC reported.
The US unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed tight restrictions.
In response to UN, Iran had announced early in July that they have surpassed limits on enriched uranium imposed in the agreement.
The country further insisted it is not trying to build nuclear weapons.
In a television interview on Monday, Zarif told broadcaster NBC News that “a room for negotiation is wide open” once the US removed its punishing sanctions.
Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for Iran’s UN Mission, said Iran “categorically rejects” the “characterization” of their Foreign Minister’s interview, and attacked media reports of his words.
“Drawing a false conclusion in pursuit of headlines, when what was said in the context was obvious, only leads to a diminution of the standing of the press with the public,” he tweeted.
During a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Iran had for the first time shown its willingness to discuss the weaponry”.
The country has previously insisted this was not an option under any circumstances.
US President Donald Trump said the US had made “a lot of progress” with Iran and that they were “not looking for regime change”, although he insisted the country cannot develop a nuclear weapon and “can’t be testing ballistic missiles”.
Meanwhile, the President’s nominee for Defence Secretary, Mark Esper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the US is not looking for war with Iran and needs to “get back on the diplomatic channel”.