Iran claims missile tests not violation of nuclear deal

Iranian officials state that its test-firing of ballistic missiles did not violate previous nuclear agreement reached in 2015

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran on March 9, 2016.[Reuters]

Iran said that its test-firing of ballistic missiles, planned to be able to hit Israel, did not violate important nuclear deal signed in 2015 with six world powers, according to state TV quoted a senior official as saying.

"Iran's missile program and its test-firing of missiles in the past days during a military drill are not against its nuclear commitments and the nuclear deal reached with the six powers," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi-Ansari.

The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) had test-fired several ballistic missiles on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The test-firing of several missiles since Tuesday were part of a major military exercise that the IRGC said were aimed at displaying the country's "deterrent power and its ability to confront any threat.”

The IRGC, a powerful force that reports directly to the supreme leader, is deeply suspicious of the United States and its allies. It maintains dozens of short and medium-range ballistic missiles, the largest stock in the Middle East.

A view of an underground depot where missiles are launched, in an undisclosed location, Iran, in this handout photo released by the official website of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on March 8, 2016. [REUTERS]

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on Wednesday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about the test-firing of two ballistic missiles, a State Department spokesman said.

But Iran's Students News Agency ISNA said on Thursday that Zarif and Kerry had not discussed the issue.

"John Kerry has sent emails to Zarif asking for a telephone call to discuss issues, including Iran's missile tests, but it did not happen because Zarif is on an official visit," ISNA quoted a source as saying.

John Kirby, US State Department spokesman, had expressed on Tuesday in response to Iran’s test-firing of ballistic missiles that US will “stand with Israel” against “all kind of threats” without confirming the missile and the graffiti.  

Two months ago, Washington imposed sanctions against businesses and individuals linked to Iran's missile programme over a test of the medium-range Emad missile carried out in October 2015.

Tehran says its missile program is solely for defensive use with conventional, non-nuclear warheads.

TRTWorld and agencies