A foreign policy advisor to Iran’s Leader says the Islamic Republic’s defence policy has nothing to do with foreign powers, reacting to frequent calls from French officials for curbs on Tehran’s missile program.
“It’s not France’s business to tell us what kind of missiles we should have,” Ali Akbar Velayati said Wednesday.
“Do we tell France how should it defend itself?” he asked rhetorically.
France, along with other European powers, Germany and Britain, has for a while been requesting Iran to stop developing ballistic missiles.
They argue curbs on Iran’s missile program and regional activities will convince US President Donald Trump not to “terminate” the 2015 nuclear deal.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to arrive in Iran for an official visit Monday, during which he is expected to raise Iran’s missile program.
Velayati said statements by French officials regarding Iran’s missile work will do them no good, urging the French foreign minister to avoid repeating them.
“Le Drian should refrain from adopting negative positions, if his trip is aimed at boosting relations with Tehran,” he said after a meeting with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori in Tehran.
Velayati said Iran will devise its defence policy independently, adding it cannot remain indifferent to mass weapons purchases by governments in the region.
“No country can give orders to other states. It’s our right to decide how we should defend ourselves, either by missiles or other defensive weapons”, ISNA quoted him as saying in a Farsi report.
The advisor was apparently referring to Saudi Arabia, a major buyer of arms and the US arms dealers’ top client.
Just last year, Saudis agreed to buy over $110 billion worth of US weapons during Trump’s visit to Riyadh.