Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said Wednesday that Iran would continue its research, development and production of missiles and other military equipment, irrespective of UN resolutions.
“Since day one of the endorsement of the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and five world powers), our different tests have not [been] postponed even for a single day, hour or moment; rather we have not even felt any doubt about declaring them,” Dehghan told the Fars News Agency.
Dehghan’s statement came a day after UN sanctions monitors said that Iran had violated a Security Council resolution in its October test of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile.
The Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Iran said that the launch of the Emad long-range missile was in violation of Security Council resolution 1929, which prohibits the Islamic Republic from carrying out any military activity related to the use of ballistic missiles. The Iran nuclear deal, signed in July, also bars the country from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”
The missile test, carried out on October 11, was hailed by Iran as a great advance in the country’s growing arsenal.
“This is Iran’s first long-range missile that can be guided and controlled until hitting the target,” Dehghan was quoted as saying at the time.
Dehghan said mass production of missiles would be followed by supplies of the weapon to the Iranian military, the semi-official Press TV reported.
Iran has said its missiles would never carry a nuclear warhead as it has no plans to develop atomic weapons, but military officials have insisted on expanding the country’s missile program.
The deal reached with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States aims to limit Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting international sanctions.
Since 1992, Iran has emphasized a self-sufficient and indigenous military production industry, producing missiles, tanks and light submarines. The government frequently announces military advances which cannot independently verified.
Also Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, at a meeting at its headquarters in Vienna, closed its investigation into whether Iran sought to acquire nuclear weapons. Israel bitterly criticized the move.
Agencies contributed to this report.