TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif said here Wednesday U.S. officials have confessed that neither the Iran nuclear deal nor the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 ban Iran from testing its missiles.
"As former U.S. undersecretary of state Wendy Sherman and U.S. special envoy for Iran Brian Hook recently said, the Islamic Republic’s missiles are categorized as conventional weapons because of their precision-guided capabilities,” Zarif told reporters after a cabinet session.
Recent U.S. officials’ claims against Iran’s missile capabilities are aimed at justifying Washington’s violation of the Iran nuclear deal and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which endorses the agreement.
"As we saw, the UN Security Council declined to hold a meeting on the unfounded U.S. accusations against Iran’s missile program,” he Zarif said.
He touched on Iran’s defensive capabilities and said as the Islamic Republic has always underlined that they are totally defensive.
Those making "provocative remarks about Iran’s defensive capabilities are the same countries, which have flooded our region with weapons, endangering regional security.”
"Such states are not in a position to urge us to put aside our defensive programs.”
Zarif also touched on the return of U.S. warships to the Persian Gulf, saying Iran has always stressed that the presence of foreign forces in the Persian Gulf undermines its security and that Iran will strongly protect its territorial waters.
The foreign minister further referred to the latest developments in mutual cooperation between Iran and Europe over the future of the JCPOA. The two sides, he said, have gotten closer to a final agreement over the financial mechanism to maintain their trade ties in the face of U.S. sanctions.
"U.S. officials are used to hampering any effort to normalize ties between Iran and Europe. That’s why the Europeans are following up the issue behind closed doors.”
Zarif said the Europeans will inform Iran of their ultimate decision immediately after reaching a conclusion.
Asked about Iran’s commitments under Paris Climate Agreement, Zarif said the Islamic Republic has already developed a plan aimed at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions which is much more serious than the Paris deal.
"What distinguishes us from Washington is our commitment to our pledges,” he said, in an apparent jab at Washington’s withdrawal from the climate change and Iran nuclear agreements and other accords.
Iran’s current policy, Zarif said, will further isolate the U.S. internationally.
"We have never forced any country to act against its own interests. But huge interests should never lead any state to manipulate international law for its own benefit. Each state has the right to make its own decision on having or not having relations with us,” he said.