Iran Says FM's Remarks on Readiness to Compromise on Missile Program 'Hypothetical'

Foreign ministry spokesperson says recent comments by Zarif 'threw the ball into the U.S. court while challenging America's arm sales' to its Mideast allies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on May 8, 2019.
\ Evgenia Novozhenina/ REUTERS

Iran says remarks by the country's foreign minister about Iran's missile program possibly being up for negotiations with the U.S. meant to challenge Washington's arms sales policy to the region — and were not meant to indicate a readiness by Tehran for any such talks.

The Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, tweeted late on Tuesday that Mohammad Javad Zarif's comments "threw the ball into the U.S. court while challenging America's arm sales" to its Mideast allies.

Zarif had said in an NBC News interview that if the U.S. wants to talk about Iran's missiles, "they need first to stop selling all these weapons, including missiles, to our region."

Iran has long rejected negotiations over its missile program. Iran's mission to the United Nations also described Zarif's comments as purely "hypothetical."