TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran rejected on Sunday a call by French President Emmanuel Macron for talks on Tehran’s ballistic missiles, saying they were defensive and unrelated to a nuclear agreement with world powers.
On Thursday, Macron said during a visit to Dubai that he was "very concerned” by Iran’s ballistic missile program, mentioning a missile fired from Yemen and intercepted by Saudi Arabia earlier this month. He raised the prospect of possible sanctions with regard to those activities.
"There are negotiations we need to start on Iran’s ballistic missiles,” Macron said.
But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi rejected that possibility. "France is fully aware of our country’s firm position that Iran’s defense affairs are not negotiable,” he said.
"We have told French officials repeatedly that the nuclear deal is not negotiable and other issues will not be allowed to be added to it,” Qasemi said, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
The United States on Tuesday repeated Saudi Arabia’s claims, accusing Iran of supplying Yemen’s Houthis with missiles.
Iran has denied the accusations, saying Saudi Arabia and its allies tried to blame others for the consequences of their invasion of Yemen.
The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution that calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Iran says its missile program is defensive and it has no plans to build nuclear-capable missiles.
In an interview with the Time magazine, published on Thursday, Macron said, "We should negotiate a new series of criteria and a new treaty with Iran to stop their ballistic activities in the region.”
Qasemi reject the idea. "France is … completely aware of our country’s stance that Iran’s defensive affairs are not negotiable,” he said.
The spokesman urged France to pursue "realistic, fair and far-sighted” policies on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.
"We expect France not to be swayed by inculcation and false signals sent by certain countries in the Persian Gulf region against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
He called on the French government to adopt "tangible strategies” and compel its allies in the region to put an immediate end to war and bloodshed in Yemen with the purpose of establishing peace and stability in the impoverished country.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi meabwhile said if the 2015 nuclear agreement falls apart, the Islamic Republic will take measures that will "astound" other parties to the deal.
Salehi said Sunday that if the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) collapses, no other international convention would be considered strong enough and "we hope this will not happen.”
However, "if it falls through, we will astound them,” he said in reference to the other signatories of the accord.
Salehi emphasized that the JCPOA has been beneficial to all its signatories, saying that the accord was beneficial to Iran and the international community, while being helpful for further strengthening of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Eight reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have confirmed Iran’s full compliance with the agreement.
However, U.S. President Donald Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the JCPOA last month and threatened to ultimately terminate the agreement.
The U.S. Congress has now less than 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the nuclear accord.
Salehi on Sunday said Iran was planning to build two more nuclear power plants with an investment of $10 billion.
The AEOI chief noted that Iran was negotiating the plan with China and a number of other countries, adding that big power plants must be constructed in southern or northern parts of the country due to special climatic conditions, but small power plants could be built wherever necessary.