Iran vows to continue missile tests despite US warnings

Posted December 05, 2018

US Strategic Command tracked the Iranian missile test using a satellite network that traces ballistic missile launches, a senior administration official told CNN.

The language of the United Nations resolution "calls on" rather than "forbids" Iran from testing its missiles, according to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.

Tehran will "continue to both develop and test missiles", he also said, adding that such activity "is outside the framework of [nuclear] negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country's permission".

On Sunday, a senior Iranian official said the country's missile program was not in breach of United Nations resolutions.

Earlier this week, Washington's Iran envoy Brian Hook urged the European Union to employ sanctions that target Tehran's missile program as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Brussels for talks with European partners. "We condemn these activities, and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons", Mr Pompeo said.

"We are accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence", he warned. Mr. Trump said the deal was flawed, as it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for armed proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Bahram Qassemi, a spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Ministry, dismissed Pompeo's claim that the missile test contravenes the United Nations resolution, saying in a statement on Sunday, "The country's missile program is just for defense".

The remaining five signatories to the nuclear deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - have backed an European Union effort to set up a special payment system in a bid to maintain trade and business ties with Iran.

"The missile has a range that allows it to strike parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East", Mr Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department.

It further noted that the U.S. unlawfully quit the nuclear agreement, and is in absolute violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

"While [the United States] itself violates [UN Security Council resolution] 2231 - and even threatens to punish those who don't wish to violate it in abiding with illegal US sanctions - it now falsely accuses Iran of violating the very SAME resolution", Mr. Zarif added. Adversaries and allies alike have denounced perceived US unilateralism and the disregarding of established global diplomatic bodies.

Actually, that was one of the biggest deficiencies in the nuclear deal - that it didn't cover Iran's ballistic missile program.

The US pulled out of that deal in May, pitting Washington against several of its key European allies, who have sought to maintain the agreement in the face of heated rhetoric between the Donald Trump administration and the Iranian government, and the reinstatement of US sanctions on Tehran last month.