Iranian Students Protest at French FM’s Visit, Stress Continued Missile Growth

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Iranian university students gathered at Tehran’s international Mehrabad airport at midnight to protest at French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit after his hostile remarks against the country’s missile program, calling on the officials in Iran to powerfully continue progress in defense fields.

The students carried images of the late commander and head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Missile Research Center, Martyr Major General Tehrani Moqaddam, who largely helped the designing and production of Iran’s high-precision ballistic missiles, and placards showing their protest at Paris’ hostile attitude.

They also underlined that Iran will powerfully continue its missile program regardless of enemies’ excessive demands.

The Iranian students are also due to hold a peaceful gathering in front of the French embassy in Tehran on Monday morning.

The protest rally of students was held after France’s foreign ministry claimed on Sunday that Iran’s ballistic missile program was a major concern, a day before Le Drian arrived in Tehran.

The Iranian foreign ministry on Sunday dismissed the French officials’ alleged concerns about the country’s missile program and regional influence, stressing that Tehran will continue its defense policies independently.

“Iran’s positions about the remarks sometimes heard from certain French statespersons or raised in the media are fully transparent and clear,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told FNA.

Qassemi referred to the Iraqi-imposed war against Iran (1980-1988), and said, “Iran has gained experiences (from that war) and learned that it should defend itself to the necessary and conventional extent and develop such a high capability that others do not even think of aggression against Iranian territories again.”

He described Iran’s defense program fully defensive and deterrent in nature to safeguard the country’s territorial integrity, independence and freedom, and said, “This policy and our missile program are no violation of the UN resolutions and rules.”

Qassemi blasted attempts to link Iranian missiles to other issues, including the nuclear deal, as a deviating and irrational move by enemies, and said, “We will continue our national policies in the missile and defense issues … and we will not take permission from anyone on how to regulate these policies and will not allow any country to interfere in such issues and Iran’s policies and (will not allow them to) hold talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran on such cases.”

He also referred to the French foreign minister’s threats of new sanctions against Iran, and said, “Even the public opinion knows that the era of sanctions and threats ended long time ago.”

In relevant remarks on Saturday, Deputy Chief of Staff and Spokesman of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri announced that Tehran will hold talks on its missile program only if Washington and the European states destroy their atomic warheads and long-range missiles.

“Annihilation of the US and Europe’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles is the prerequisite for negotiations on Iran’s missiles,” General Jazzayeri said.

He, meantime, underlined that the American officials’ statements about containing Iran’s missile power is a wish that will never come true and are result of Washington’s failures in the region, adding that the US weakness vis a vis Tehran is the result of the latter’s enhanced defense power.

Jazzayeri stressed that the US wrath will end and Washington will calm down when it leaves the West Asia region.

The Iranian officials have always criticized the western states for their interference and demands from Iran to hold talks on its missile program while themselves posses nuclear weapons.

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