Iran rejects criticism of missile test slammed by US, France
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Iran rejects criticism of missile test slammed by US, France

Tehran says launch earlier this month does not violate UN Security Council resolutions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a press conference following a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam on August 11, 2015 at the Government Palace in the capital Beirut. (AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a press conference following a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam on August 11, 2015 at the Government Palace in the capital Beirut. (AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO)

Iran said on Saturday that its recent test launch of a long-range missile does not violate UN Security Council resolutions as claimed by the United States and France.

“Our missile tests have nothing to do with Resolution 2231, which only mentions missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a news conference.

Speaking in Tehran alongside his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, he added: “None of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s missiles have been designed for nuclear capabilities.”

Iran announced Sunday it had successfully tested a new domestically produced long-range missile without specifying its exact range.

Screen capture of the launch of a new Iranian missile, named Imad, October 11, 2015. (YouTube/PressTV News Videos)
Screen capture of the launch of a new Iranian missile, named Imad, October 11, 2015. (YouTube/PressTV News Videos)

Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said the new missile “can be guided and controlled until hitting the target.”

The US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power on Friday said the missile launched by Iran is a “medium-range ballistic missile inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon”.

“This was a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929,” she said, echoing similar criticism from the French foreign ministry, adding that the US would seek action at the Security Council.

She said this violated the UN Security Council resolution adopted on June 10, 2010 banning such launches.

Power said the United States is preparing a report to the council committee monitoring sanctions against Iran on the missile launch.

“The Security Council prohibition on Iran’s ballistic missile activities, as well as the arms embargo, remain in place and we will continue to press the Security Council for an appropriate response to Iran’s disregard for its international obligations,” she said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

Soon after the launch, White House press secretary Josh Earnest raised concerns, saying there were “strong indications” it violated UN sanctions.

He said the United States has seen Iran “almost serially violate the international community’s concerns about their ballistic missile program.”

Earnest stressed, however, that those violations are “entirely separate” from the historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers, which is aimed at preventing its development of nuclear weapons.

Resolution 2231, which was adopted a few days after Iran struck the July 14 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads”.

Iran insists it has no plans to develop atomic weapons.

Zarif told the news conference that “nuclear weapons have no place in the military doctrine of Iraq” and said that the missile program of the Islamic Republic does not violate UN resolutions.

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