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AFP
July 13, 2018
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Iran rejects ‘unwarranted’ Nato fears, slams claims

World

AFP
July 13, 2018

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BRUSSELS: Iran has rejected “baseless and unwarranted” concerns voiced by Nato leaders about Tehran’s missile programme during a Wednesday summit and condemned their “repetitious” accusations against the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Thursday touched on a joint declaration of the allies, including their purported concern about Iran’s missile tests and what they called Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

“We reject and condemn as before the repetitious allegations of this statement on Iran,” he said, suggesting that the declaration had been issued under US pressure. Qassemi said Iran has “closely monitored the developments and debates of this meeting, especially the American attitudes and pressures on the members” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

“Unfortunately, despite the fact that Nato’s greatest spending is made on the security of the United States, this country (US) is unabashedly trying to impose its views and policies on other nations, especially European states through exerting pressure.”

As President Donald Trump prepared to leave the White House for the summit in Brussels on Tuesday, he said the US was spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them, urging them to double their military budget.

How much of the US money actually benefits the alliance is a matter of debate, with other members saying Trump’s focus on military spending is misplaced. The members, however, tried to mask their divisions in the alliance by highlighting the areas on which they maintain consensus, including Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes as well as its influence in the Middle East.

They claimed that Iran’s activities were “inconsistent” with UN Resolution 2231 adopted in 2015 to endorse the country’s nuclear agreement and took the country to task over its “support to a variety of armed non-state actors.” Qassemi said, “It is a matter of much wonder and contemplation that certain sides continue to vainly insist on repeating delusional and baseless accusations against the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

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