Iranian foreign minister defends ballistic missile test
WELLINGTON – The Associated Press
AFP PhotoIran’s foreign minister on March 14 defended the nation’s right to use ballistic missiles following a test last week, but offered no explanation for anti-Israeli messages reportedly written on them.
Speaking in Wellington, New Zealand, Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran has always reserved the right to defend itself.
“Anybody who is crazy enough to attack us, we will attack back using conventional weapons,” he said. “We hope that these conventional weapons will never be used because we do believe that in a war, everybody loses.”
Zarif was responding to questions following an address to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. He had earlier met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to talk about trade, and was scheduled to travel to Australia on March 15.
Iran’s Fars news agency reported that the missiles had the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them.
Zarif said he had not yet returned to Iran to check out those reports. When pressed about the issue, he said it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama who were acting aggressively.
“I ask you to go ask Netanyahu why is he threatening to use force against Iran every day. Go ask Obama why he is threatening to use force against Iran every day,” Zarif said. “Why are they saying all options are on the table?”