White House Draws Red Line on Iranian Ballistic Missile Program

Iranian army members prepare missiles to be launched / AP

Iranian army members prepare missiles to be launched / AP

The White House on Monday pushed back against Iran’s efforts to set a “red line” preventing negotiations over its contested ballistic missile program, which has been permitted to continue undeterred under the recently signed interim nuclear accord.

One of Iran’s top nuclear negotiators stated early Monday that Iran would under no circumstances negotiate with the West on its ballistic missile program. These remarks were accompanied by the announcement that Tehran had successfully test fired two ballistic missiles, which are the preferred delivery system for nuclear arms.

“The defense-related issues are a red line for Iran,” Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s senior negotiator and its deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying on Monday, just a week before talks are set to resume. “We will not allow such issues to be discussed in future talks.”

However, the White House quickly pushed back against the comments, vowing to force the issue during upcoming negotiations and demand that it be resolved under a final deal.

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