Iran calls France’s testing of nuclear ballistic missile a threat to world peace
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Iran calls France’s testing of nuclear ballistic missile a threat to world peace

Echoing criticism Paris made of Tehran after February satellite launch, Iranian foreign ministry says missile test incompatible with French disarmament commitments

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as they meet in the capital Tehran on March 5, 2018. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as they meet in the capital Tehran on March 5, 2018. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday it’s “concerned” about France’s testing of a new ballistic missile and that it is inconsistent with the country’s international commitments, state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the French navy’s recent test firing of a new generation M51 intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying several nuclear warheads is incompatible with France’s commitments to nuclear disarmament.

He urged Paris to fully comply with its international obligations regarding nuclear disarmament.

Mousavi said the weapon is a threat to international peace and security and testing such weapons weakens the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Iran itself has been accused of testing nuclear capable ballistic missiles in violation of the 2015 accord with world powers that limited its nuclear program in exchange for economic benefits. Tehran has denied the tests violate the agreement, claiming it has no interest in nuclear weapons.

Mousavi’s comments echoed a statement issued by the French foreign ministry in February after an Iranian satellite launch, which Iran has been accused of using as cover for ballistic missile development.

“Iran’s ballistic program hurts regional stability and affects European security. France calls on Iran to fully respect its international obligations in this matter,” the French statement said.

On Friday, the board of the United Nations’ atomic watchdog agency adopted a resolution calling for Iran to provide inspectors access to sites where the country is thought to have stored or used undeclared nuclear material.

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