Iran’s deputy FM: We told world powers we’ll keep arming our allies
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Iran’s deputy FM: We told world powers we’ll keep arming our allies

Abbas Araqchi says country’s missile, weapons capabilities were off limits during nuclear talks; Khamenei spoke Saturday about backing Palestine

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi enters the mission of the European Union building on December 17, 2014 in Geneva. (Photo credit: AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi enters the mission of the European Union building on December 17, 2014 in Geneva. (Photo credit: AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI)

Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Tuesday that the recently reached nuclear deal with the world powers did not include limitations on Iran’s weapons capabilities or missile power and that Tehran would keep arming its regional allies.

We have told them [the P5+1 world powers] in the negotiations that we will supply arms to anyone and anywhere necessary and will import weapons from anywhere we want and we have clarified this during the negotiations,” Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state TV.

In his speech on Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei listed Iran’s allies as follows: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up support of its friends in the region — the oppressed people of Palestine, of Yemen, the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the oppressed people of Bahrain and sincere resistance fighters in Lebanon and Palestine… Our policy will not change with regards to the arrogant US government.”

Last year, the supreme leader said Iran should keep arming the Palestinians until Israel is destroyed “by a referendum of the people living there.”

Araqchi on Tuesday emphasized that Iran would do what it thinks necessary to maintain its regional alliances.

“We will take any necessary action to maintain and expand our defensive capabilities, safeguard our independence and sovereignty and help our regional allies to fight against terrorism,” he said.

“We are not ready to even negotiate on our security and defensive issues, let alone compromising them,” he went on.

On Monday, the UN Security Council endorsed the Iranian nuclear deal, paving the way for international sanctions on Tehran to be lifted.

The vote was welcomed by Iran, whose Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that “Iran’s military capabilities, including its ballistic missiles, are exclusively for legitimate defense; these equipment have not been designed for the capability to carry nuclear payloads and thus, fall outside the scope and the jurisdiction of the UNSC resolution and its annexes.”

Under the deal announced last Tuesday, Iran’s nuclear program will be scaled back and closely monitored as the US and world powers seek to cut off its ability to develop an atomic weapon. In exchange, Iran will see biting economic sanctions gradually lifted, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and frozen assets.

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