Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Mike Pompeo: Iran Tested Missile Capable of Reaching Europe

Mike Pompeo: Iran Tested Missile Capable of Reaching Europe

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missile in violation of the 2015 worldwide agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, from which Washington has withdrawn.

On Saturday, Pompeo denounced Iran for test-firing a medium range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads that could reach parts of Europe.

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".

The U.S. has said it is seeking to curb the Islamic Republic's influence in the region and its missile program, which Iran says is needed for self-defense.

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, the White House's point man on curbing Iranian aggression across the globe, said Thursday that Washington stands prepared to use forces to curtail such weapons development activities.

"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. "Iran is on the wrong track and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is created to starve the regime of the revenue it needs to test missiles and proliferate missiles, support terrorism, conduct cyber attacks, [and] conduct acts of maritime aggression".

The UN body adopted the resolution, which endorsed the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2015.

Addressing Mr Pompeo's comments, Iran's Foreign Ministry insisted the country's missile programme did not violate United Nations resolutions and was used exclusively for building Tehran's defence capabilities.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the senior spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces pointed to recent United States threats about the possibility of military action against Iran and said, "We are giving this warning that in case of any strategic error by the U.S. and its allies in the region, they will receive such a strong slap in the face from the Islamic Republic that will make them regret [what they have done] forever".

Actually, that was one of the biggest deficiencies in the nuclear deal - that it didn't cover Iran's ballistic missile program.

US President Donald Trump announced in May that the US was withdrawing from the nuclear agreement describing it as "the worst deal ever", announcing a series of tough sanctions on the country in the following months.

"Iran has defensive needs", Zarif said. He ultimately pulled out of it on May 12.

On Thursday, Hook accused Iran of violating United Nations ban on Iranian arms exports by sending weapons to its proxies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. It has also maintained that it never meant to develop nuclear weapons and therefore its missile development does not violate the agreement.

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