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Iran security official: no intention to increase range of missile systems

Iranian Admiral Ali Shamkhani. (Meghdad Madadi/Tasnim News Agency)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A top Iranian security official said his country does not intend to increase the range of its missile systems.

The comments by Ali Shamkhani on January 29 came as officials dismissed pressure from France and other Western nations for talks over its ballistic-missile program.

“Iran has no scientific or operational restriction for increasing the range of its military missiles, but based on its defensive doctrine, it is continuously working on increasing the precision of the missiles, and has no intention to increase their range,” Shamkhani, who is secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, was quoted by state TV as saying.

The comment echoes those of the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, who said in 2017 that the country had limited the range of its ballistic missiles to 2,000 kilometers.

France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said last week that his country was ready to hit Iran with further sanctions if no progress is made in talks to limit its missile programs.

The United States and other Western nations allege that Iran’s missile programs are advancing toward delivering nuclear weapons.

Other comments by Iranian officials, however, signaled a harder line toward Western demands.

“Negotiations over Iran’s missile and defensive capabilities are not acceptable in any way,” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.