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Iran says did not agree to limits on defense capabilities

PanArmenian.Net - Saturday 7th October, 2017

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Tehran "did not agree to anything limiting our defense capabilities," IRNA reveals.

"Iran's ballistic missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons. They are defensive," Zarif was quoted as saying in a recent interview with the American Journal Newsweek which was published on Friday, October 6.

"The reason we continue testing them is that we want to improve their precision. If a missile is designed to carry nuclear weapons, you don't need precision. You just need range because wherever they hit, they create the necessary deterrence. The range would be important, but the precision wouldn't be important. Iran focuses on improving the precision because we want to use these missiles as a means of carrying conventional warheads. We did not agree to anything limiting our defense capabilities for [the] very obvious reason that the United States is sending a lot of weapons to our region.'

Answering a question on whether Tehran is interfering in Syria, Zarif said, 'No, Iran intervened in the conflict to save Damascus from falling in the hands of Daesh [the Islamic State group, otherwise known as ISIS]. That is exactly the same reason we helped in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. All of the nonsense they say about sectarian motivations; just look at Erbil. Do they exist at all We have had the consistent policy of opposing extremism regardless of where it occurs. We oppose extremism in Afghanistan against the Taliban. We support stability in our region. It's not supporting individuals.

'Unfortunately, people intervened in Syria. People supported, financed, armed these extremist groups. Now, you see in the accusations that are floating on the southern part of the Persian Gulf among countries that are formerly allies - you can see that each one is accusing the other of supporting extremist groups. You can see each one accusing the other of being on the wrong side in Yemen. What happened was people intervened on the wrong side and are now complaining; Iran's influence is growing in the region because we never intervened on the wrong side.'

Commenting on the future of Syria, the Iranian FM said, "None of my business and none of anybody else's business other than Syrians. That's what we've been saying from the very beginning: that we should not draw red lines based on personalities. Our political plan is for ceasefire, inclusive government, inclusive national unity government, constitutional reform and elections.'

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