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Iran Maintains Missile Tests, Denies Violation

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Iran said Sunday it would continue missile tests to build up its defenses and denied this was in breach of UN resolutions, following US allegations that Tehran tested a new missile capable of carrying multiple warheads.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the weekend condemned what he called Iran’s testing of a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, from which Washington has withdrawn.

“Missile tests ... are carried out for defense and the country’s deterrence, and we will continue this,” Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semiofficial 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, US 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, for his part, stressed that Iranian missiles were purely defensive and added, “There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting [a] missile program and missile tests by Iran.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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