Iran denies "prepared" for talks on missile program

Huang Panyue

TEHRAN, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday "categorically" denied the reports that Tehran is ready to talk with powers over its ballistic missile program, official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran has repeatedly announced that "its defense program will never be subject to negotiations," the spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying.

Developing "missile program is Iran's inalienable right and will determinedly be continued in line with the country's strategic and conventional defense program," said Qasemi.

On Friday, western media quoted an unnamed source as saying that Iran has suggested to six world powers that it may be open to talks about its ballistic missile arsenal, seeking to reduce tension over the disputed program.

Iran and the United States are at loggerheads over Iran's missile program. Over the past months, Washington has imposed sanctions on some Iranian and international entities linked with Tehran's missile tests.

Iranian military and governmental officials have unanimously vowed to bolster ballistic missile program for deterrent purposes.

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