Iran’s ballistic missile program is part of the country’s “sovereignty” and right to defense and therefore should not be questioned, says an analyst in Virginia.
Marsha Freeman, an author with the Executive Intelligence Review, made the remarks while discussing a senior Iranian military commander’s call for denuclearization of the world powers as the only way that Iran would agree to negotiate its ballistic missile capability.
"What Americans say out of desperation with regards to limiting the Islamic Republic of Iran's missile capabilities is an unattainable dream resulting from their regional failures and defeats," Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Saturday.
Iranian officials have repeatedly warned that the country’s missile program is not open to any negotiations amid US President Donald Trump's constant efforts to link Iran's missile program to the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump has repeatedly described the JCPOA, which was negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign, and threatened to tear it up.
The US has repeatedly claimed that Iran’s missile program is in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the JCPOA.
Freeman noted that while Iran’s call for nuclear disarmament sounds impractical, it relays a strong “political” message.
“I think it is appropriate for Iran to take a very strong stance on the pressure that is being put on Iran to renegotiate the nuclear agreement,” she said.
“Looking at the very complex situation in the Middle East and making exceptions for Israel and countries that the United States describes as strategic allies, and now you have the complicating situation of Saudi Arabia” which is also seeking an expanded nuclear program, the importance of Tehran’s call becomes more clear, she argued.
Freeman said Iran was right in protecting its right to develop defensive deterrents like ballistic missiles.
“I do think that Iran should take this stance, that there are aspects of its own defense and its own technology capabilities that are part of its sovereignty and should not be open to political pressure and negotiations,” she concluded.