Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami reiterated Tehran’s policy on its missile program and said the country would never allow foreigners, including French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, to interfere in its domestic affairs.
Addressing a huge gathering of worshipers in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Khatami said the US has sought to hamper the progress of Iran’s missile power so that “Israel would feel comfortable”.
He further made it clear that according to Quranic verses about Muslims’ deterrent power, Iran is determined to produce missiles as much as it wants and will increase their ranges.
“We never negotiate with anyone about this sphere and do not give any government the right to interfere,” the cleric said, adding that the French foreign minister and others who plan to come to Iran should forget about the issue.
Earlier on January 21, Le Drian said that he would visit Iran on March 5.
He said he would discuss the latest developments about the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in his trip to the Iranian capital.
The French minister added that he would also raise the issue of Iran’s ballistic missile program as well as what he called Iran’s “destabilizing military influence in the Middle East” during his upcoming meetings.
Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the country’s missile program is purely defensive, stressing that it is not up to France or any other country to make decisions about its ballistic missile program.