Iran’s President Rouhani: Missile Program Non-Negotiable and Joe Biden Knows It

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan on October 1, 2019. (Photo by Karen MINASYAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAREN MINASYAN/AFP via Getty Images)
KAREN MINASYAN/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program was non-negotiable and Joe Biden is “well aware of it.”

Biden has stated he was committed to reentering the nuclear deal with Iran from which President Donald Trump withdrew in May 2018.

But the Islamic Republic has said it will not halt its missile program, and instead has demanded a change in U.S. policy, including the lifting of sanctions and compensation for the economic damage caused during the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear accord, the Reuters news wire reported.

“The Americans were trying for months to add the missile issue (to the nuclear talks) and this was rejected…. And Mr Biden knows this well,” Rouhani said in a televised news conference.

He also said Israel was behind the recent killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, and vowed to avenge the killing.

It was the first direct and open admission by the Iranian leader.

“Waging instability and war in the final days of the Trump administration was the main aim of the Zionist regime in the assassination,” Rouhani said.

He added Iran would not allow Israel to decide the “time or venue“ of any retaliation.

Several Iranian reports claimed the killing was carried out using a satellite-controlled machine gun with “artificial intelligence.”

According to an unnamed Western intelligence source who spoke to Israel’s Channel 12, Fakhrizadeh’s killing was the “pinnacle” of Israel’s long-term plans to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Fakhrizadeh was described as the “father of the Iranian bomb” in a famous 2018 presentation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhau about a raid on a Tehran warehouse in which Mossad operatives spirited half a ton of secret documents on Iran’s nuclear program out the country.

During that presentation, Netanyahu said: “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

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