A prominent Iranian official is demanding future discussions over international security and stability that would involve his nation also should address the disarmament of the United States and Israel.
“We urge our country’s nuclear negotiators that in addition to the talks with G5-1, to focus their efforts on full nuclear, chemical and microbial disarmament of the Zionist regime, the biggest threat to the region and world’s security, as well as the disarmament of the United States.”
The comment comes from Maj. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, the minister of defense and logistics of the armed forces, according to a report from the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
The defense ministry’s media department issued the statement Sunday from Dehqan in “reaction to the U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s call for a probe on Iran’s missile program … .”
“Dehgan said that Iran’s missile capacity is defensive, conventional, deterrent and not negotiable,” the report said.
“If an issue is due to be dealt with following the nuclear deal, it is total elimination of the Zionist regime’s nuclear, chemical and microbial weapons in a bid to create a nuclear-free Middle East as well as annihilation of the U.S.’ weapons of mass destruction,” he said in the report.
That, he said, “Should be placed on agenda.”
IRNA said, “The Zionist regime should always be worried about the deterrence power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, otherwise, the occupying regime would have brought the Middle East under its control through war and bloodshed.”
Hagel recently was on a four-day visit to the Middle East where he met with defense leaders from nations with long security connections to the United States.
Voice of America reported during that trip, Hagel discussed Iran’s nuclear program, and told Israeli leaders, “I want to assure you of the United Stats’ commitment to ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and that American will do what we must to live up to that commitment.”
Iranian officials long have contended their pursuit of nuclear capabilities strictly is for peaceful power production and research purposes. The suggestion was that once the issue of nuclear production is resolved, the missiles Iran has should also be discussed.
According to a report from the Pakistan Daily Times, Iran’s Fars news agency also released a related statement, calling the U.S. military’s capabilities “dreadful.”
The statement said Dehqan focused on “paragraph 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treat alongside their negotiations with the Group 5+1 (the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany).”
Dehqan said he was pleased Israel – the “Zionist regime” – in concerned about Iran’s weaponry.
“Dehqan underlined that it is a shame for the U.S. which claims to be a superpower that its defense secretary announces, ‘Israelis have allowed us to find a way to exit from (the deadlock over) Iran’s nuclear issue,’” the report said.
The Daily Times said Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said the Western states’ demand for restricting Iran’s missile capability is foolish.
“They expect Iran to limit its missile program while they continue posing military threats against Iran, and hence, such an expectation is foolish and silly,” Khamenei said. “The IRGC Aerospace Force should precisely advance its works and plans and should not be satisfied with its status quo.”
According to a translation of another Fars agency report, Khamenei also suggested that destroying America is on the to-do list.
The report said his statement included, “The reason for continuation of this battle is not the warmongering of the Islamic Republic. Logic and reason command that for Iran, in order to pass through a region full of pirates, needs to arm itself and must have the capability to defend itself.
“Today’s world is full of thieves and plunderers of human honor, dignity and morality who are equipped with knowledge, wealth and power, and under the pretense of humanity easily commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.”
The statement continued, “Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.”
Recent negotiations over Iran’s nuclear pursuit have ended without results.
Barack Obama had hoped for progress on an interim agreement dated last year that allowed Iran some enrichment activity in return for relief of billions of dollars in sanctions and penalties.
Instead, the Iranian representatives recently have proposed new boundaries for the discussions, including a ban on discussion about its ballistic missile program.