On July 11-12, representatives from the 29 member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) met in Brussels to discuss collective defense, crisis management, and modernizing the alliance. The joint declaration from the summit expressed concern over Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing activities in the Middle East. “We condemn all financial support of terrorism, including Iran’s support to a variety of armed non-state actors,” leaders said in the statement.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi dismissed the allegations as “unsubstantiated and baseless.” He said the Islamic Republic has always lived up to its international commitments. The following is an excerpt from the NATO summit declaration and Iran’s response.
Brussels Summit Declaration
We are concerned by Iran’s intensified missile tests and the range and precision of its ballistic missiles and by Iran’s destabilising activities in the wider Middle East region. We call upon Iran to refrain from all activities which are inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 -- including all annexes. We are committed to permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme remains peaceful, in line with its international obligations and commitments to never seek, develop, or acquire a nuclear weapon. We underscore the importance for Iran to continue to fully cooperate in a timely manner with the IAEA. We condemn all financial support of terrorism, including Iran’s support to a variety of armed non-state actors. We also call upon Iran to play a constructive role by contributing to efforts to counter terrorism and achieve political solutions, reconciliation and peace in the region.
Syria has a significant inventory of short range ballistic missiles whose range covers part of NATO’s territory and some of our partners’ territories. Syria has used these missiles extensively against its own population. We remain concerned that Turkey has been hit three times in the last four years by missiles launched from Syria. We continue to monitor and assess the ballistic missile threat from Syria.
The increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles in the vicinity of the south-east border of the Alliance has been, and remains a driver in NATO’s development and deployment of a ballistic missile defence system, which is configured to counter threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
Click here for the full text, published on July 11.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi
“Like in the past, we reject and condemn the repeated accusations about Iran contained in the statement.”
“We closely monitored the developments and discussion at the meeting, especially the United States’ behavior and pressures on members of this treaty [NATO].”
“Although most of NATO’s spending goes to the [provision of] security for the US, this country, behaving as if others are beholden to it, and by exerting pressure, seeks to impose its opinions and policies on other nations, especially on European countries.”
“It is surprising that some [states and individuals] still insist on repeating unsubstantiated and baseless allegations regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies.”
“NATO member states, which are undoubtedly fully aware of the numerous and back-to-back reports by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] regarding Iran’s measures and compliance with its obligations, should, instead of pleasing US officials, have been concerned about one NATO member’s non-compliance and illegal and unilateral withdrawal from international agreements, including the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and instead of distorting obvious and clear realities, should have reprehended this country’s unilateral and dangerous policies.”
“However, at this juncture, some NATO members have apparently once again swapped the places of the US and Iran, which has always lived up to its international commitments, and its international policies serve to maintain international peace and security.”
“NATO member states’ concern over Iran’s missile program is completely unfounded and pointless.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile program not only does not violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231, but is completely conventional and defensive, and Iran, like all independent countries in the world, is entitled to have all conventional military-defense programs in order to defend the country’s interests, people and sovereignty, and definitely expressing such unwarranted concerns [as by NATO] will have no bearing on our country’s policy on maintaining, developing and boosting its defensive missile program and power.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always favored cooperation and dialogue within the region and with its neighbors, and believes in that, and has missed no opportunity to enter into talks with its neighbors in any shape or form, and will not miss any chance to do so.”
“Iran believes none of the crises in the region has a military solution.”
“Before some NATO member state formed coalitions to fight terrorism, some of which were just a show and ineffective, and when terrorists were coming to the Middle East in droves from some of these very countries, Iran, at that sensitive historical juncture, with prudence and relentless efforts, began to fight the terrorists who had been trained by certain other countries, and finally played an effective role in sounding the death knell to the territorial rule of dangerous terrorist groups in the region such as ISIL.”
—July 12, 2018, in a statement