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1 February 2017
Iranian general acknowledges missile test
defense minister said Wednesday that his country recently carried out a
missile test, days after the White House said it was looking into
reports of an Iranian ballistic missile launch that may have contravened
a U.N. resolution.
Gen. Hossein Dehghan was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying "the recent missile test is in line with our plans and we will not let any foreigner meddle with our defense issues." He did not say when the test was carried out or specify the type of missile, but said the test was not in violation of U.N. resolutions or the 2015 nuclear accord.
The nuclear deal reached with world powers does not include provisions against missile tests. When it came into effect in 2016, the Security Council lifted most U.N. sanctions against Tehran, including a 2010 ban on testing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The council nevertheless adopted a resolution in 2015 which "calls on" Iran not to carry out such tests.
The United States has maintained and expanded its own sanctions related to Iran's missile program. At the request of the United States, the U.N. Security Council held an session on Tuesday to address allegations that Iran conducted a ballistic missile test. The council referred the matter to its committee on Iran and asked for an investigation.
Iran has long boasted of having missiles that can travel 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), placing much of theMiddle East, including Israel, in range. Iran says its missiles, which could also strike U.S. bases in the region, are key to deterring a U.S. or Israeli attack.
In March, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles — one emblazoned with the phrase "Israel must be wiped out" in Hebrew — setting off an international outcry.
Iranian parliamentary, diplomatic, intelligence and military officials held a joint meeting in Tehran on Wednesday in which they condemned foreign interference in the country's defense affairs, saying Iran's missile and defense programs are not negotiable, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.