Iran says missile program is defensive amid heightened allegations, evidence

Iran says missile program is defensive amid heightened allegations, evidence

"Three days later, they test launched another medium range ballistic missile".

The test violated a Security Council resolution that calls on Iran not to pursue "any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology".

Iranian military leaders on Sunday vowed to press ahead with weapons testing of intermediate and long-range missiles, as well as other advanced arms systems, which have been banned by sanctions issued by the US and United Nations.

Pompeo warned in the statement of "accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence".

"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".

"Israel knows very well how to defend itself from the murderous Iranian regime", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in response to Rouhani's words, in a post on the Twitter social networking site.

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Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the air division for the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said improvements to Iran's missile arsenal had put United States bases in Qatar, the UAE, and Afghanistan within reach, as well as USA aircraft carriers stationed in the Persian Gulf, according to Iran's Tasnim news agency. The deal was meant to ensure that Iran would not attempt to secretly develop nuclear weapons, an ambition that the country always denied having. It urged Iran to stop all testing of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the press on Capital Hill after briefing members of the Senate on the current relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States, on November 28, 2018.

"They are within our reach and we can hit them if the [Americans] make a move", he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

US Strategic Command tracked the Iranian missile test using a satellite network that traces ballistic missile launches, a senior administration official told CNN.

The remarks from Paris and London will be seen by the USA government as the first sign that its key European partners may yet be persuaded to view Iran's broader behaviour as so risky that their support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal can no longer be justified. The Trump administration has reimposed economic sanctions against Tehran after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and denied its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads. He ultimately pulled out of it on May 12. Mr. Trump said the deal was flawed, as it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for armed proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. The presentation displays weapons and fragments of weapons seized in Afghanistan, Bahrain and Yemen that it said are evidence Iran is a "grave and escalating threat" that must be stopped.

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