Iran on Wednesday confirmed that it had conducted a ballistic missile test, but rejected allegations that it had violated the recently signed nuclear agreement or the United Nation Security Council’s resolution on the matter, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported. Tehran defended the operation saying none of its missiles can carry nuclear warheads as they have “no place in the country’s defence doctrine”.
“The recent test was in line with our plans and we will not allow foreigners to interfere in our defence affairs,” Iranian defence minister Hossein Dehghan said.
On Tuesday, Washington had protested against Tehran’s missile test, which it said was “provocative and irresponsible”. US officials had alleged that Iran had launched a medium-range ballistic missile on January 29, which Tehran had not confirmed until now. “This is absolutely unacceptable. We will act accordingly ... we will be loud,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had said. UN Resolution 2231 prohibits the country from “undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
The United Nations Security Council had convened a special meeting on Monday to discuss the reports. “First of all, we need confirmation that the test has happened,” United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft told CNN before the meeting. Rycroft had said an investigation would follow confirmations of the test.
In July 2015, Iran had signed a treaty with several countries including the United States and Britain, agreeing to reduce its atomic programme, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions imposed on it. The economic pressure applied by the world’s most powerful countries had driven Iran to sign the deal. The UN can reimpose sanctions if Iran violates the agreement in the next decade. Some sanctions have been in place since 1995.