ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Top Khamenei aide says limits on Iran’s missile capabilities ‘unacceptable’

Ali Akbar Velayati says projectiles not designed to carry nuclear warheads remain outside scope of nuke deal, UNSC resolution

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected on Wednesday any perceived restrictions by the United Nations Security Council on Iran’s missile defense systems, in the framework of the council’s endorsement of the nuclear deal signed in Vienna on July 14 between Tehran and the P5+1 world powers.

In a confusing interview to the semi-official Fars new agency, Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s adviser for international affairs, said the UNSC resolution “on Iran’s defensive capabilities, specially its missiles, is unacceptable.”

“This resolution has been prepared under the influence of expansionist western states to undermine Iran’s defense, and specially missile capabilities, and it is unacceptable from Iran’s point of view,” Velayati told Fars.

“The goal of these moves by the UNSC which is under their [the western powers’] influence is to deprive Iran of its Islamic-Iranian identity, independence and territorial integrity, but Iran will not accept this and other similar resolutions,” he added.

With regard to missile development, Velayati has said projectiles that are not designed to carry nuclear warheads remain outside the scope of the nuclear deal.

“Missiles like Shahab, Sejjil and the like, have never been used for carrying nuclear warheads, and therefore, are not subject to the paragraphs of the Vienna draft agreement,” Velayati said last week, using the Iranian names of the missiles.

On July 20, the 15-member Security Council unanimously endorsed the agreement between Iran and the world powers aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was given a mandate to undertake inspections and submit a report on its findings regarding Iranian compliance with the deal. Iran, for its part, has vowed to limit inspectors’ access to military sites.

The text of the UNSC resolution calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology” for eight years following the agreement or until the IAEA files its report.

Iran has repeatedly rejected any attempts or calls to impose restrictions on its ballistic missile development program.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement last week charging 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.”

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