Iranian general confirms missile test

Feb 03, 2017, 00:41
Iranian general confirms missile test

According to the report, Ali Akbar Velayti - a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - said Iran "needs no permission from any country for defending itself" and "pays no attention to American threats".

"Iran's missile test does not contradict the UN Security Council Resolution 2231", Xinhua news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying on Thursday.

Late Wednesday, National Security Advisor Mike Flynn called Iran a "destabilizing influence" in the Middle East and said the USA was "officially putting Iran on notice".

The missile test at the weekend, along with an attack this week on a Saudi naval vessel by Iran-backed Houthi militants, "underscore what should have been clear to the worldwide community all along about Iran's destabilizing behaviour across the Middle East", Flynn said.

Iran on Thursday rejected a warning from President Donald Trump over its latest missile test as unfounded and "provocative", reflecting growing tensions between Tehran and the new United States administration.

Iran's acting commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Hossein Salami, responded in comments to the semi-official Tasnim news agency Thursday, saying Iran will "never change direction by a world power's demand, and our missile and nonmissile power will be updated every day". And without anyone standing shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump, could this be read as a pretty empty threat?

The council agreed to have its Iran committee do an investigation.

The Trump administration did not elaborate on what specific actions the United States will take against Iran, the Associate Press reported.

The blunt Flynn cited a recent missile test and the actions of Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen as examples of Tehran's malign behavior. The sanctions were said to have been in the works for some time, and Sunday's missile test convinced President Donald Trump to trigger them. "I think we should stop appeasing Iran".

Asked what steps the United States meant to take, spokesman Sean Spicer said: "We will have further updates for you on those additional actions, but clearly [Mr Flynn] warned to make sure that Iran understood that they are on notice, that this is not going unresponded to".

He reiterated that Iran's missile programme was for deterrence purposes.

Administration officials said they were not accusing Iran of violating the nuclear agreement with its recent missile test. Trump is a strident critic of the Islamic republic and a vocal opponent of an worldwide deal that saw Iran curb its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

Mr Flynn said it was "the latest of a series of incidents" in which Iran continues "to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region".

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