Iran willing to hold talks on missiles program, as Trump threatens to 'decertify' nuclear deal - THE LATEST NEWS HEADLINES TODAY

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Iran willing to hold talks on missiles program, as Trump threatens to 'decertify' nuclear deal


Iran willing to hold talks on missiles program, as Trump threatens to 'decertify' nuclear deal

A Ghadr-H missle, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are on display for the annual Defense Week, marking the 37th anniversary of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, at Baharestan Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard displayed the country's sophisticated Russian-made S-300 air defense system in public for the first time. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
A Ghadr-H missle, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are on display for the annual Defense Week, marking the 37th annive
Iran has signaled to six world powers that it is open to talks about its ballistic missile arsenal, seeking to reduce tension over the disputed program, Iranian and Western officials familiar with the overtures told Reuters.

Tehran has repeatedly vowed to continue building up what it calls defensive missile capability in defiance of Western criticism, with Washington saying the Islamic Republic's stance violates its 2015 nuclear deal with the powers.

But the sources said that given U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to ditch the deal reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, Tehran had approached the powers recently about possible talks on some "dimensions" of its missile program.

"During their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month, Iran told members of the (world powers) that it could discuss the missile program to remove concerns," an Iranian source with knowledge of the meeting told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

U.S. and Western officials did not confirm the matter was discussed at the Zarif-Tillerson meeting. But two U.S. officials said Iran had recently been "keeping it alive" by feeding certain media reports and via third parties such as Oman.

Iran's reported approach came after Trump called the nuclear accord "an embarrassment" and "the worst deal ever negotiated". He is expected to announce soon that he will decertify the deal, a senior administration official said on Thursday.

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