Iranian official denies ballistic missile test. warns America against ‘political games’
The White House said on Monday that there was an Iranian ballistic missile test which Iran’s foreign minister on Tuesday refused to confirm. The Iranian missile program is not part of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
During a joint news conference with visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was asked if Iran had conducted a recent missile test.
“The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal. As all signatories to the nuclear deal have announced, the missile issue is not a part of” the deal, he said.
Iran’s missiles, he added are, “not designed for the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead … Our ballistic missile was designed to carry a normal warhead in the field of legitimate defense.”
A U.S. defense official said Monday that the missile test ended with a “failed” re-entry into earth’s atmosphere. The official had no other details.
Zarif on Tuesday said he hopes the issue is not used as, “an excuse for some political games by the new U.S. administration. The Iranian people would never allow their defense to be subject to the permission of others.”
In a video posted on his Facebook page Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he planned to discuss Iran in his upcoming meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington.
“I intend to raise with him the renewal of sanctions against Iran, sanctions against the ballistic missiles and additional sanctions against terror and also to take care of this failed nuclear agreement,” Netanyahu said.
Fox News reported that “The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said.”
Iran defense minister Brigadier Gen. Hossein Dehqan said in September that Iran would start production of the missile.
U.N. resolution 2231 — put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed — calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct such tests. However, this is at least Iran’s second such test since July. The resolution bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and went into effect July 20, 2015.
Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.
Fox News added that the US intelligence community picked up the “launch due to its robust satellite network.” These satellites can identify “the heat signature of missile launches and explosions from bombs being dropped around the world.”