An Iranian national flag. Photo by Reuters

Iran confirms missile test, says it does not contradict nuclear deal


Iran’s defense minister confirmed that the Islamic Republic recently tested a missile, but asserted it did not contradict the nuclear deal the country signed with world powers.

“The recent test was in line with our programs and we don’t allow any foreign party to interfere in our defense affairs,” Brigadier Gen. Hossein Dehqan told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, according to Fars, the semi-official news agency of the Iranian government.

The statement came after the U.N. Security Council held an emergency session Tuesday to discuss the intelligence that Iran had conducted a missile test. The United States had requested the session after detecting the test of what is believed to be a medium-range ballistic missile on Sunday. The missile reportedly went about 600 miles before exploding in what U.S. news outlets said was a failed test.

During the Security Council meeting, the newly confirmed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the test was “absolutely unacceptable.”

“The United States is not naive,” she said. “We are not going to stand by. You will see us call them out.”

Following a meeting in Iran of its parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, the commission rapporteur, Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, told Fars: “During the meeting, it was concluded that the country’s defense and missile industries are not negotiable with anyone and they should advance with all power and capacity and the parliament should support it too. It was also declared that no country is allowed to interfere in the country’s defense affairs.”

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of escalating tensions over Iran’s defense program, which he asserted is not covered under the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, including the U.S.

“As all parties present in the negotiations on the nuclear deal know, the missile issue is not a part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Zarif said during a news conference in Tehran with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault.

+