Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Iran has rejected “unwarranted” concerns voiced by NATO over the Islamic Republic’s regional activities, saying the Western military alliance should rather be worried about the US’s “unilateral and dangerous” policies and its breach of international commitments.
Speaking ahead of the meetings of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns about what he called Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the wider Middle East region” and its missile program.
In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi stressed that Iran, which is itself a major victim of terrorism, has played the most effective role in eliminating terrorist groups such as Daesh in the region.
“Contrary to the NATO secretary general’s remarks, Iran’s constructive role in creating stability in the Persian Gulf and Middle East region has been acknowledged by most of the international community,” he said.
Qassemi added that many European countries owe their security today to Iran’s “generous” fight against extremist terror groups.
European countries should be thankful for Iran’s “sacred” battle aimed at containing terrorists in the region instead of questioning the country’s “constructive and effective” policies, which provides them with security.
Iran “has always sought dialog and close cooperation with its neighbors, but believed, at the same time, that the Middle East’s security should be preserved by the regional countries,” he said.
The official voiced Tehran’s objection to “any presence and intervention of foreign powers and military-security bodies in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region under the pretext of providing security.”
The Iranian spokesman further dismissed the NATO chief’s concerns about Iran’s conventional missile program, saying it serves defense and deterrence purposes.
“Definitely, such unwarranted expressions of concerns will have no effect on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy in preserving, developing and strengthening its missile defense might and program,” Qassemi said.
He also referred to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s repeated confirmation of Iran’s compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The NATO secretary general should more than ever be worried about one of its member’s breach of commitments as well as its illegal and unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA,” he added.
Back in May, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA despite objections from the other parties.
Besides re-imposing the anti-Iran sanctions it had lifted under the accord, the Trump administration has also been seeking to discourage the European firms from doing business with Iran by threatening them with penalties.