Iran on Tuesday dismissed pressure from France and other Western powers for talks over its ballistic missile programme but said it had no plans to increase the range of the weapons.
France said recently it was ready to impose further sanctions on Iran if no progress was made in talks about the missiles.
“Negotiations over Iran’s missile and defensive capabilities are not acceptable in any way,” Maj.-Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.
He said French leaders were only raising the issue to distract attention from anti-government demonstrations in their country.
Iran on Monday denied that it was holding any talks with France about the missiles.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran in May, and re-imposed sanctions, saying the accord did not address the missiles, and what he saw as the Islamic republic’s malign influence on the region.
France, along with other signatories, stuck to the accord, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief.
However, Paris and other European powers have also raised concerns about the missiles, fearing they could one day reach their territories.
“The enemies say Iran’s missile power should be eliminated, but we have repeatedly said our missile capabilities are not negotiable,” Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami said.