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Zarif: Iran will continue to develop missile program
February 29, 2016 19:29
Iranian FM signals that warming relations with West after nuclear deal will have no impact on Iran developing its missile program.
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (photo credit:ATTA KENARE / AFP)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif signaled that warming relations with the West after the nuclear deal would have no impact on Iran developing its missile program.

“We will not get permission from anyone for our missile and defense capability,” said Zarif on Sunday in an interview with the Students News Agency ISNA.

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He added that the United States should seriously work to remove sanctions on the country. “We are still waiting to see whether the US is serious in its commitment or not.”

The foreign minister also opened the door to talks on other issues with the US, saying it depended on the decision by Iranian officials. Zarif said the US still needs to build trust with Iran.

Iran and world powers reached the nuclear agreement – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – in July.

Regarding its regional Sunni foe Saudi Arabia, he claimed the country faced a severe crisis and had to revise its policy. The foreign minister went on to blame the Saudis and the “Zionist regime” for making efforts to prevent the nuclear deal, but they failed.

“We emphasize that our region needs security, stability and calm and based on this requirement the Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing its strategy on regional issues,” said Zarif in the interview.

Separately, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan unveiled five domestically built defense products at a ceremony on Monday, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The claimed achievements include explosive and drug detection devices, new generation protective clothing, and Obidoxime Chloride, a drug used to treat nerve gas poisoning.

“Despite sanctions imposed against [Iran’s] defense sector, the Armed Forces, in their path to self-sufficiency and new achievements, have foiled and will foil the enemies’ attempts to reach their goals,” he said.

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