Iran vows to continue missile tests despite USA warnings


Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance upheld by Russian Federation at the Security Council.

"Our support for [the Iran nuclear accord] in no way lessens our concern at Iran's destabilizing missile program and determination that it should cease", Mr. Hunt added.

Iran's military has cited 2,000 km as the current missile range, and said USA bases in Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plus US aircraft carriers in the Gulf, were within range.

The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads.

"We will continue both the test and development of the missiles", he said, adding that any negotiation with foreigners on the missile program is out of question since the issue is related to the country's national security. "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".

France and the UK have echoed warnings by Donald Trump's administration that Iran may be in breach of United Nations obligations by testing medium-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying multiple warheads.

In a public statement before the closed door talks, Netanyahu thanked Pompeo for the administration's "strong" stance on Iran, and said he looked forward to discussing joint Israeli-US efforts to "curb Iran's aggression in the region, in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon and elsewhere".

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"It was a mistake to exclude missiles from the Iran nuclear deal and is one of the principle reasons the United States left it", Hook said, directly criticizing the previous administration for caving to Iran's demands that its advanced missile program not be covered under the deal.

Pompeo criticised Iran and China in his speech, rejecting suggestions that Washington was acting unilaterally.

France said it was concerned by the test, with the foreign ministry describing it as "provocative and destabilizing" and saying it "does not conform" with United Nations resolution 2231 on the Iran deal.

Echoing Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis denounced Iran for test firing the missile.

"No UN Security Council resolution has banned Iran's missile program or missile tests", the Iranian ministry added. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, addressing a security forum in California, said the Iranian launch was significant and was a reminder that Tehran was unlikely to be deterred from pursuing missile technology or supporting militant proxies.

"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.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an worldwide nuclear agreement in May and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, criticizing the deal for not including curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles.