Iran confirms missile test

Iran has pressed on with its ballistic missile program after a 2015 deal with major powers. — File photo

Tehran — Iran confirmed on Tuesday that it had carried out a recent test of a medium-range ballistic missile after Western powers sharply criticized a December 1 launch.

“We are continuing our missile tests and this recent one was a significant test,” the Fars news agency reported, citing Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh.

“The US reaction showed that it was a big thing for them and that it upset them,” the conservative news agency said, adding that Iran carried out between 40 and 50 missile tests a year.

The comment appeared to confirm a report by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said early this month that Iran had test-fired “a medium range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads.” The missile could hit all of the Middle East and parts of Europe, Pompeo said.

Last month, Hajizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles.

Iran has pressed on with its ballistic missile program after a 2015 deal with major powers.

A UN Security Council resolution adopted after the agreement calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, but does not specifically bar Tehran from missile launches.

The UN Security Council convened at the request of Britain and France on Dec. 4 to discuss the latest test which both governments described as “provocative” and “inconsistent” with Resolution 2231.

Britain said that the types of missiles fired had capabilities that “go way beyond legitimate defensive needs”.

Iran has developed several types of ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3,000 kilometers (1,875 miles) -- sufficient to reach Israel and Western bases across the region.

In its report, Fars did not specify the date of the latest test or say which types of missile were fired.

Washington, which quit the nuclear deal in May, described the test as an outright “violation” of Resolution 2231 and called on the Security Council to condemn it.

But veto-wielding Moscow has defended Tehran’s right to carry out the missile tests, and the Dec. 4 meeting ended with no joint statement or any plan for follow-up action.

The council is due to meet again on Dec. 19 for a regular review of the resolution’s implementation.

Western criticism has focused instead on Tehran’s missile program and its military interventions in the region. — Agencies