TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani dismissed as baseless a recent US claim that missile debris allegedly retrieved in Saudi Arabia is of Iranian origin, saying such attempts to force Iran to negotiate its missile and defense capabilities will get nowhere.
“The Americans had better learn lessons from their past experiences and abandon such baseless and useless attempts,” he said in a meeting of high-ranking judiciary officials in Tehran on Monday.
“They should rest assured that, by making such moves, they cannot bring Iran to the negotiation table (to make concessions about) its defense and missile capabilities,” he added.
Ayatollah Amoli Larijani also noted that except for Saudi Arabia and Israel, no one, including the UN, has paid attention to the unfounded allegation.
On Thursday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley appeared in a staged show in front of a large, charred tube that she claimed was “concrete evidence” that Iran was providing missiles to Yemen.
A Saudi Arabian-led coalition launched a war against Yemen in 2015 and has ever since been indiscriminately hitting targets in the country. Yemeni Houthi fighters have been firing missiles in retaliatory attacks against Saudi targets every now and then.
One such missile targeted a Riyadh airport on November 5. Following an apparently off-the-cuff remark by US President Donald Trump, who said that in his “opinion” the missile had been an Iranian “shot”, Saudi officials scrambled to blame Iran.
Tehran soon rejected those accusations and said the so-called “evidence” presented by Haley was “fabricated”. The Houthis, too, said the missiles are domestically built.
Ayatollah Amoli Larijani further urged European countries not to pursue missile talks with Iran, because the Islamic Republic “will not negotiate with any country about its defense affairs.”
Iran has always stressed that its military might and test of missiles is an issue relating to the defense of its territorial integrity and has nothing to do with the JCPOA, the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) back in July 2015.
Iran has also underscored frequently that its military might poses no threat to other countries and that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.