Iranian President Won't Discuss Missile Program with UN

Iran's president told the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog group that he's open to nuclear talks but missile talks are off the table.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog organization Sunday that his government is open to discussing nuclear issues but that discussing its long-range missile program is "not negotiable." 

"Iran's missile power is not negotiable in any level under any pretext," Rouhani told Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the official IRNA news service reported. Israel, in particular, is concerned about the range of Iranian missiles and has put pressure on the U.S. and the United Nations to act out of fear that nuclear warheads could be attached to long-range missiles.

Iran, however, insists that its nuclear program is not intended for making weapons and says that it will cooperate with the IAEA, "since there is no room for using a weapon of mass destruction in Iran's defense doctrine," said Rouhani.

The thrust of Amano's trip to Iran is to set a course for the IAEA to investigate allegations that Iran had secretly worked on nuclear weapons — an allegation that Iran vigorously denies.

“We have no issue cooperating to clear ambiguities,” Rouhani was quoted as saying earlier today, Fars news agency reported. “If there is serious determination to solve the matter and reach an agreement, it’s possible to get to results with the agency in less than a year and Iran is determined achieve results in the shortest time possible.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.