Iran tests medium-range ballistic missile, Pompeo says

Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance upheld by Russian Federation at the Security Council.

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

Tehran will "continue to both develop and test missiles", he also said, adding that such activity "is outside the framework of [nuclear] negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country's permission".

Despite U.S. condemnation of its missile program, the Iranian military affirmed that it will keep conducting tests, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Monday.

"Iran has launched missiles that are capable of carrying multiple warheads, including a nuclear weapon", Hook confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon while talking to reporters aboard Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's airplane en route to Brussels for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings. It urged Iran to stop all testing of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The statement came shortly after Security Council met behind closed-doors to discuss alleged Iran's latest missile test, which the United States and its allies said may have been in violation of Resolution 2231.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and denied that its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads, or that the country has any intent of developing nuclear weapons through uranium enrichment.

Pompeo told an audience of diplomats and foreign military officials that the Trump administration will not accept such transgressions and is acting to reform institutions that have formed the basis of the post-World War II global order. The Trump administration has reimposed economic sanctions against Tehran after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal.

In relation to USA sanctions against China and Iran, he said: "When treaties are broken, the violators must be confronted and the treaties mist be fixed or discarded".

The United States is calling on the European Union to enact its own set of sanctions targeting Iran following Tehran's test of a missile this past weekend.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during an event at the Concert Noble in Brussels, Belgium, on December 4, 2018.

Resolution 2231 was passed in 2015 to endorse the freshly-signed deal between Iran and leading world nations (known as JPOC). 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.

Pompeo has been pressing Germany, France and the United Kingdom to join the USA in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord signed during the presidency of Barack Obama in 2015. "Iran is on the wrong track and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is created to starve the regime of the revenue it needs to test missiles and proliferate missiles, support terrorism, conduct cyber attacks, [and] conduct acts of maritime aggression".

  • Rogelio Becker