TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Commander of Iran’s Basij Force Brigadier General Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar rejected the notion that the Islamic Republic may engage in diplomatic talks with the West on its missile program, saying that the issue is “a red line” for the country.

Speaking to the Press Shia News Agency, Brigadier General Gheibparvar pointed to recent calls by some Western states for holding talks on Iran’s missile capabilities and reaching a new agreement after Washington pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and said, “Our country’s missile power is among the red lines.”

He further emphasized that the missile program is not negotiable, adding that the missiles are the outcome of the Iranian youths’ endeavors and will be used as a defensive tool if need be.

The Iranian commander went on to say that the problem of the Western parties to the JCPOA with Iran is not over its nuclear or missile issues but they are pressuring the country to abandon Islam and the Islamic Revolution.  

He made the remarks in reaction to recent remarks made by US President Donald Trump about a new deal with the Islamic Republic.

Addressing a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday, Trump said the US is "putting sanctions on Iran, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before."

However, he expressed hope that "at some point, they’ll come to us and we’ll sit down, and we’ll make a deal that’s good for them, and good for us, and good for everybody. And it will be great for Iran.  I expect it to be — I want it to be great for Iran… We had a great opportunity to make a phenomenal deal."

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.