LONDON (Reuters) – Iran on Tuesday dismissed pressure from France and other Western powers for talks over its ballistic missile program, but said it had no plans to increase the range of the weapons.
France said last week it was ready to impose further sanctions on Iran if no progress was made in talks about the missiles, described by Tehran as defensive but seen in the West as a destabilizing factor in a volatile region.
“Negotiations over Iran’s missile and defensive capabilities are not acceptable in any way,” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.
He said French leaders were only raising the issue to distract attention from anti-government demonstrations in their country. Iran on Monday denied that it was holding any talks with France about the missiles.