Iran Dismisses EU Criticism of Its Missile Tests, Says 'Threats' Won't Stop Them

Tehran calls EU overture to launch system facilitating non-dollar trade 'late and inadequate,' vows to continue tests despite European pleas

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Visitors look at a Hoveizeh 8 cruise missile at a military show in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 3, 2019.
Visitors look at a Hoveizeh 8 cruise missile at a military show in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 3, 2019. Credit: AP
Reuters
Reuters

Iran dismissed European Union criticism of its missile program, regional policies and rights record on Tuesday, highlighting their increasingly testy relationship as both sides seek to salvage a troubled nuclear deal.

Iran’s comments came a day after the bloc criticized the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile tests and expressed concern at Iran’s role in growing Middle East tensions.

The European Union has promised to abide by a 2015 nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to limit its atomic work in exchange for sanctions relief, even after U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the accord because it did not cover Iranian military activities.

The EU has stepped up criticism of Iran’s ballistic missiles program and its regional policies in a dual-track approach analysts say is designed to show Washington it is possible to contain Tehran while remaining inside the nuclear pact.

The Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday Iran would never negotiate over its missile program, which it said was defensive and designed as a deterrent.

“Clear threats against the Islamic Republic are not constructive, efficient or helpful, and they are not in line with regional security and the real interests of Europe,” the foreign ministry said in a statement published on its website.

Iran has expanded its missile program in the last two decades, particularly its ballistic missiles, in defiance of the United States and concern by European countries, especially France.

As part of EU efforts to sustain the nuclear pact, Britain, France and Germany last week launched the Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a system to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and avoid U.S. sanctions.

Iran’s foreign ministry welcomed the new channel, but said it was “late and inadequate.” Iran would revise relations with Europe if it did not benefit economically from INSTEX, it said.

The EU also urged Tehran to stop activities that deepened mistrust, including what it called Iranian assassination plots. France, Denmark and Netherlands have accused Iran of attacks against Iranian opposition figures and arrested suspects with links to Iranian embassies and intelligence ministry.

Iran’s foreign ministry rejected the EU warning:“Raising such baseless and hollow accusations while known terrorist and criminal groups are free in Europe, is not constructive at this stage and is in line with the goals of enemies who seek to undermine Iran’s relations with Europe.”

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott