Iran Rejects Merkel’s ‘Unconstructive’ Remarks about Its Missile Program

Iran Foreign Ministery

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed the recent remarks by German Chancellor about Tehran’s ballistic missile program, stressing that the Islamic Republic will strongly continue developing the program.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced that the country’s missile program is purely defensive and they [ballistic missiles] are by no means designed to carry nuclear warheads,” Qassemi said in a statement released on Saturday, July 9.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, once again, declares that based on its defence doctrines and national security calculations, will continue its missile program in full force and such remarks will leave no effect on the country’s legitimate missile program,” the spokesman added, as reported by Tasnim.

His remarks came after German Chancellor Angel Merkel claimed on Thursday, July 7, that Iran “continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council.”

Addressing the Bundestag, Merkel added that NATO’s anti-missile system targets Iran’s rocket program and was “developed purely for defence.”

Germany’s intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, also claimed in its annual report released on Thursday that Iranian efforts to “procure technology, especially in the nuclear area, had continued at a high level” in 2015.

Later on Friday, July 8, German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Martin Schaefer reacted on the annual report and asserted, “There are forces within Iran…they may be trying, one way or another, to undermine or torpedo the nuclear deal and the normalization of relations between us and Iran. We are watching this closely.”

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