A senior Iranian commander this week shot down State Department claims that Iran's ballistic missile programs would be a subject of nuclear negotiations, dismissing Washington's position as "meddlesome."
Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, the Iranian armed forces deputy chief of staff, stated that "we don't allow the U.S. and others to interfere" with regard to Iranian defense policy.
"Gone are the days when the U.S. was a superpower, but some still haven't realized it," Jazayeri said.
He said the Islamic republic would use its defense capability against "bullying" powers (a term the regime uses to characterize the United States) whenever it chooses to do so.
Jazayeri said that if Washington "oversteps" red lines, it will need to be worried about Iranian missiles, the state-controlled Press TV reported
The Iranian official was responding to comments made Monday by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki
, who claimed that the subject of Iran's ballistic missile capabilities are part of the ongoing talks between Tehran and the United States and five other international powers: Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
Jazayeri stated that "Iran's missile programs and defense capability, irrespective of their purpose, are not negotiable in any foreign circle."
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, also rejected Psaki's claims, saying that "the Islamic Republic of Iran does not regard the country's defense issues as negotiable and will not hold such negotiations with any foreign side."
Araqchi, who is also Iran's deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, declared that "no permission has been or will be issued in the future" to negotiate over the regime's missile and defense capabilities, according to Press TV.
Iran's refusal to negotiate over its ballistic missile program – one of the most dangerous parts of its military arsenal – raises questions about the usefulness of the current nuclear talks.
Four prominent national security experts wrote earlier this week that there are reports that Iran has deployed a new mobile ICBM "whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe." The missile was also shown on Israeli television.
Iran's "development of an ICBM at this time would be consistent with unclassified U.S. intelligence community reports that in 2013 warned Iran could test an ICBM by 2015," the experts added
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