- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan confirmed that his country has tested a missile recently, describing it as part of Iran’s defense programs, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
“The recent test was in line with our programs and we don’t allow any foreign party to interfere in our defense affairs,” General Dehqan told reporters in Tehran in reaction to the recent UN Security Council meeting on Iran’s missile test.
He underscored that the missile test “contradicts neither the nuclear deal (between Iran and the world powers signed in 2015) nor the Resolution 2231”.
At the request of the United States, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency session on Tuesday to address claims that Iran conducted a missile test.
The test is said to have occurred on Sunday. A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that a medium-range ballistic missile exploded after traveling 630 miles.
After the UNSC meeting, the Iranian parliamentary, diplomatic, intelligence and military officials in a joint meeting in Tehran on Wednesday condemned foreign interference in the country’s defense affairs, stressing that Iran’s missile and defense programs are not negotiable.
Also, on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cautioned Washington to avoid escalating tensions over Tehran's missile power, reminding that his country's missile and defense program has not at all been touched by the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.
“As all parties present in the negotiations on the nuclear deal know, the missile issue is not a part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Zarif said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in Tehran.
Stressing that Iran never asks for permission from anyone to defend itself, he said, “We will never use a weapon against others but to defend ourselves; Iran has never started any war but it bravely defends its dignity against foreign aggression.”
“We hope that Iran’s defense programs which are out of the sphere of the Resolution 2231 and the nuclear deal will not become a pretext for political games,” Zarif added.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor signaled a toughening US stance on Iran Wednesday, condemning its recent missile test and declaring America was “officially putting Iran on notice.”
In his first public remarks since taking office, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn accused former president Barack Obama’s administration of having “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions.”
Citing a recent missile test and the actions of Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen, Flynn said “Iran is now feeling emboldened.”
“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” he said without elaborating.
Both Trump and Flynn have been vocal opponents of an international deal that saw Iran curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.