Iran’s defense minister said on Wednesday the Islamic Republic had tested a new missile, but added the test did not breach Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers or a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but this is the first during U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump said in his election campaign that he would stop Iran’s missile program.
Iran confirmed for the first time that it recently carried out a missile test and warned other nations not to meddle in its defense affairs, hours after the U.S. called the launch unacceptable and vowed to act.
Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan on Wednesday said the test was part of Iran’s ongoing defense program, according to Tasnim news agency.
“We have no other aim but to defend our interests and in this path we will neither seek permission nor allow anyone to interfere.”
The launch, in just the second week of Donald Trump’s presidency, is the first test of the new U.S. administration’s policy on the Islamic Republic.
A United Nations resolution that endorses world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran calls on it not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic technology.
Iran has maintained it does not have a nuclear weapons program.
After an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday that the U.S. called to discuss the missile issue, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Iran’s launch was “absolutely unacceptable.”
The U.S. is “not going to stand by, you will see us call them out as we said we would and we will act accordingly,” she said, without elaborating.
The U.S. said Iran launched a missile capable of carrying a 500-kilogram (1,100 pound) payload with a 300-kilometer range (186 miles) on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that his country’s missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads and are solely meant for self-defense.
During his election campaign, Trump vowed to scrap or renegotiate the nuclear pact, which lifted international sanctions on Iran in return for curbs and safeguards on its nuclear program.
While he hasn’t repeated those pledges since taking office, Trump included Iran in an order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S.
He has also held a lengthy discussion with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief rival in the Middle East, which according to the White House included how to tackle Tehran’s “destabilizing regional activities.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of the deal, said on Monday he aims to propose renewed sanctions on Iran when he meets with Trump at the White House this month.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]