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Teheran 'will keep producing missiles'

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-31 07:47

Iran and IAEA urge commitment to 2015 nuclear accord by all parties

TEHERAN - Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international accords, President Hassan Rouhani has said in a speech broadcast on state television.

Rouhani spoke days after the US House of Representatives voted for new sanctions against Iran's ballistic missile program, part of an effort to clamp down on Teheran without immediately moving to undermine an international nuclear agreement.

He also met the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog in Teheran, who again vouched for Iran's compliance with the 2015 accord that curbed its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, which has drawn fire from US President Donald Trump.

"We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements," Rouhani said in a speech in Parliament.

US sanctions

The United States has already imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution, that calls on Teheran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Teheran 'will keep producing missiles'

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and says it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles.

Trump said earlier this month that the US could not formally certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord. Washington has also demanded inspections of Iran's military sites, which Teheran has rejected.

Rouhani also criticized the US over Trump's refusal this month to formally certify that Teheran is complying with the accord on Iran's nuclear program, even though international inspectors say it is.

"You are disregarding past negotiations and agreements approved by the UN Security Council and expect others to negotiate with you?" Rouhani said.

"Because of the behavior it has adopted, America should forget any future talks and agreement with other countries," Rouhani said.

IAEA head visits

Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, met Rouhani, President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Teheran, an IAEA statement said.

"Director General Amano reiterated that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran are being implemented, and that the JCPOA represents a clear gain from a verification point of view," it said, using an abbreviation for the 2015 accord.

"For the future, he stressed the importance of full implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments in order to make the JCPOA sustainable."

Trump's decision not to certify Iranian compliance with the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers means Congress now has less than 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Teheran that were lifted under the agreement that Amano's agency is in charge of policing.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Teheran will stick to the agreement as long as the other signatories do, but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out, as Trump has threatened to do.

Reuters - Xinhua

(China Daily 10/31/2017 page11)

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