DUBAI: Iran said yesterday it would continue missile tests to build up its defences and denied this was in breach of U.N. resolutions following U.S. allegations that Tehran had tested a new missile capable of carrying multiple warheads.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he called Iran’s testing of a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme, from which Washington has withdrawn.
“Missile tests … are carried out for defence and the country’s deterrence, and we will continue this,” Brigadier- General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
“We will continue to both develop and test missiles. This is outside the framework of (nuclear) negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country’s permission,” Shekarchi said.
He did not confirm or deny Iran had tested a new missile. Earlier, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted: “Iran just test-fired a … ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel and Europe. This provocative behavior cannot be tolerated.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also said Iranian missiles were purely defensive and added: “There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting missile programme and missile tests by Iran.” —Agencies