Iran says missile programme defensive after U.S. test allegation

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

"Trump came in, ripped it up and now we are seeing more missile tests, we're seeing escalation and we are seeing a drift towards war". "We will not ask any country's permission in this regard".

Qasemi did not confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a new missile test. It urged Iran to stop all testing of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

"As we have been warning for some time, Iran's missile testing and missile proliferation is growing".

"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. Yet, they also neither confirmed, nor denied the test.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi briefs journalists at a press conference in Tehran on August 22, 2016.

Under the UN resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran is "called upon" to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons. "The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that's capable of carrying multiple warheads", he wrote in the tweet.

The statement from Pompeo came just days after a top Iranian general claimed that USA military personnel and assets in the Middle East are within range of his country's missiles.

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.

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".

Hajizadeh said the missiles had been outfitted with improved precision capabilities, making it possible to hit targets over 500 kilometers away to within 30 meters accuracy.

The remarks from Paris and London will be seen by the United States government as the first sign that its key European partners may yet be persuaded to view Iran's broader behaviour as so unsafe that their support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal can no longer be justified.

Iran maintains that no UNSC resolution bans the country's defensive missile program or its missile tests. That range would encompass much of the Middle East, including Israel and American bases in the region.

Iran has become one of the world's missile powers despite the severe western sanctions on it over the past 40 years, Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on Sunday. As Washington, D.C., moves forward with a bevy of new sanctions on Iran, some European allies have continued to balk the US administration, seeking avenues to preserve the nuclear pact and ensure economic ties with Tehran remain open. He ultimately pulled out of it on May 12. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, addressing a security forum in California, said the Iranian launch was significant and was a reminder that Tehran was unlikely to be deterred from pursuing missile technology or supporting militant proxies. 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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