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Iran says minister's missile remarks meant to challenge US

By The News · 19 of July 2019 22:38:27
AP Photo, Mohammad Javad Zarif, No available, FILE - In this March 10, 2019, file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohamed Alhakim at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Baghdad, Iraq. Zarif for the first time suggested his country's ballistic missile program could be on the table for negotiations with the U.S. - if America stops selling arms to its Gulf allies in the Mideast, Monday night, July 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran says remarks by the country’s foreign minister about Iran’s missile program possibly being up for negotiations with the U.S. meant to challenge Washington’s arms sales policy to the region — and were not meant to indicate a readiness by Tehran for any such talks.

The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, tweeted late on Tuesday that Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments “threw the ball into the U.S. court while challenging America’s arm sales” to its Mideast allies.

Zarif had said in an NBC News interview that if the U.S. wants to talk about Iran’s missiles, “they need first to stop selling all these weapons, including missiles, to our region.”

Iran has long rejected negotiations over its missile program.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations also described Zarif’s comments as purely “hypothetical.”