TEHRAN – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that he will not agree to demands from the United States for limitations to Tehran’s defensive weapons programs, including ballistic missiles.
Rouhani told a news conference that while Iran has committed to not developing weapons of mass destruction, it will not negotiate with anyone regarding conventional weapons.
He also said that Iran’s missile arsenal was strictly for defensive purposes.
The president likewise rejected US calls to amend the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran signed with Washington and five other major powers in 2015 to address concerns that Tehran might seek to develop nuclear weapons.
“Iran will not accept any change to the JCPOA text,” Rouhani said.
Asked if President Donald Trump’s hostility toward Iran prevents a bilateral dialogue, Rouhani said that the opportunity for dialogue never materialized because the US did not fulfill its commitments under the JCPOA, which stipulated an end to sanctions against Tehran.
Trump renewed last week his demand for changes to the “terrible” nuclear agreement with Iran, though the other signatories – China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany – have made it clear they will not support re-opening the JCPOA negotiations.