GCC Wants Iran’s Missiles to Be Part of Nuclear Talks

Side issue would likely derail talks as progress is reported

With signs that the Vienna meetings on Iran nuclear talks are making progress, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s foreign ministers have issued a statement calling on the world to make Iran’s ballistic missile program an issue that is part of the talks.

The reason the ballistic missiles have not been an issue is because Iran has no nuclear weapons, and its missiles are not designed to deliver such weapons. The missiles are part of a conventional arsenal, and part of Iran’s military defense.

The GCC is opposed to the nuclear deal on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, and would want to conflate this with conventional missiles both to create the illusion that this is a military issue, and because Iran clearly wouldn’t negotiate away its conventional arms, derailing the talks and precluding a final deal.

The GCC are not a party to the JCPOA talks, and there is no reason to expect that this will be considered. The call is plainly an attempt to harm the negotiating process, and no one is going to introduce new issues in the unresolved talks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.