Iran: EU preconditions for non-dollar trade channel "unacceptable"

Representational image

Representational image

Iran has unveiled a new cruise missile with a range of 1,300 kilometres as it begins to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a move that will increase concerns in the West about Tehran's ballistic missile programme. "It can be ready in the shortest possible time and flies at a very low altitude".

Hoveizeh, Iran's new cruise missile is exposed during an exhibition in the capital Tehran on February 2, 2019. Western experts have frequently accused Iran of exaggerating claims about its military capabilities.

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guard aerospace division, said Iran had overcome initial problems in producing jet engines for cruise missiles and could now manufacture a full range of the weapons.

Iran's top judge said on Monday that Tehran would never accept the "humiliating conditions" set by the European Union for non-dollar trade meant to evade US sanctions, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 adopted after the deal calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, but it does not specifically bar Tehran from missile launches.

The attack targeted a base of the Basij, a paramilitary force affiliated with the powerful Revolutionary Guards, in the city of Nik Shahr in Sistan-Baluchestan province, which has always been plagued by unrest.

Washington says although Iran has met the terms, the accord was too generous, failing to rein in Iran's ballistic missile programme or curb what the United States says is interference in regional affairs.

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U.S. President Donald Trump quit the Iran nuclear deal previous year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the pact in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme.

Last, year, U.S. President Donald Trump ended the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions.

On Wednesday, Iran announced the production of large amounts of yellowcake, a precursor to enriched uranium.

On Jan. 8, The European Union imposed the first set of sanctions on Iran since some of its members signed onto the Iran nuclear deal. The measure froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff.

Tehran insists its missile development program is "purely defensive" and compliant with the resolution.

But Iran then issued conflicting statements initially saying there were no public or secret talks taking place with France or anyone else regarding their missile programme.

Noting that Iran develops its missile capabilities based on defensive strategies, General Salami said late Saturday that maintaining a cap on missiles' range is not due to technological limits, but based on the country's strategic approaches.

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