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Iran can’t let go of missile program: UK think tank

Tehran, Iran will not roll back its capabilities to that extent, especially while its regional adversaries improve their air forces and retain their own missile capabilities that are not subject to any limitations, wrote the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

'Tehran will never give up all of its ballistic missiles, but a compromise is possible,' wrote Michael Elleman, Mark Fitzpatrick in a joint article publishe by Foreign Policy on Monday.

The United States' confrontational posture toward Iran is not likely to enlist any international partners apart from those already in the anti-Iran camp. But as European leaders try to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran, they should seek to find common cause with Washington to address their shared concerns.'

Contrary to what Iran has said repeatedly say about having no intention to make nuclear weapon and its Supreme Leader's fatwa against all nuclear weaponry, IISS claimed that Iran may decides to make nuclear weapons, IISS claimed that Iran could repurpose its missiles.

'The lack of limits on Iran's missiles is one of the three reasons US President Donald Trump cited for withdrawing the United States from the nuclear deal. But he offered no solutions to the missile challenge other than the unrealistic demand that Iran give up all of its missiles. Given the central role that missiles play in Iran's sense of defense and deterrence, total abandonment of the missile program is not remotely possible.'

Saying that Iran has already reached its announced maximum requirement, the article said concerned governments should accept what iran has � the 2,000-km (1,200-mile) range limit � and prevent Iran from developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

'A missile agreement is therefore needed, with verification and enforcement provisions. Concerned countries should swiftly codify a range limit before Iran manages to advance its missile program.'

'Iran would never put such a limit in writing or accept the verification and penalty measures needed to police it unless it received something in return. As a trade-off, Iran could be allowed to continue a space launch program'.

'Ideally, a range limit agreement should cover all countries in the region. Absent this, Iran's leaders would need other incentives, such as the space program exception that we propose, to encourage them to make a deal.'

*Michael Elleman is a senior fellow for missile defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

*Mark Fitzpatrick is the executive director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies�Americas and the head of the IISS nonproliferation and nuclear policy program.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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