The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force has claimed Iran has tripled its ballistic missile production.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh appeared to reject reports of negotiations to limit Iran’s ballistic missile program, saying: “The law of the world is the hands of the United States, Britain, France and the Zionist regime and they have written these laws with arrogance. Our production has increased three-fold compared to the past,” he added.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Tehran for meetings earlier this week with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, with Iran’s missile program high on the agenda. Le Drian told the French media that the country’s missile program is “not in line with UN Security Council resolutions and go beyond what is needed to secure Iran’s borders.” Many of the IRGC’s missiles have a range of thousands of kilometers.
Iran’s military spokesman General Masoud Jazayeri responded by saying that “the precondition for negotiation over Iran’s missiles is the dismantling of the US and Europe’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.”
Le Drian’s visit was part of negotiations involving Britain, Germany and France to try to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that he would withdraw from the agreement unless tough new restrictions were placed on Iran before 12 May, and the Iranian ballistic missile program is one of the U.S.’s areas of concern.
After the meeting with Le Drian, Rouhani said that “preserving the nuclear accord will prove to the world that negotiation and diplomacy are the best option for solving problems.”