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France should not interfere in Iran's missile programme - adviser to Iran's supreme leader
November 18, 2017 / 8:34 AM / 23 days ago

France should not interfere in Iran's missile programme - adviser to Iran's supreme leader

BEIRUT (Reuters) - France should not interfere in Iran’s missile programme, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, said on Saturday according to state media.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that Tehran should be less aggressive in the region and should clarify the strategy around its ballistic missile programme.

“It does not benefit Mr. Macron and France to interfere on the missile issue and the strategic affairs of the Islamic Republic, which we have great sensitivities about,” Velayati said.

“What does this issue have to do with Mr. Macron? Who is he at all to interfere? If he wants relations between Iran and France to grow then he should try not to interfere in these issues.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has said Iranian missile activity should be curbed.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said the Islamic Republic’s missile programme is for defense purposes and is not up for negotiation. The programme was not part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

France said on Wednesday it wanted an “uncompromising” dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile programme and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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