Iran announced Saturday that it has successfully tested a new medium-range ballistic missile capable of striking targets up to 1,200 miles away, defying U.S. calls to halt further testing.
The launch of the so-called Khorramshahr missile was shown on Iranian state television, though the video feed did not indicate a time or location of the test. Iranian officials say the missile can carry several warheads.
“You are seeing images of the successful test of the Khorramshahr ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km, the latest missile of our country,” state television said, according to Reuters.
The missile test comes days after President Donald Trump denounced Iran during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, accusing Tehran of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the Middle East. Trump is currently weighing whether or not to certify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 2015 deal that places limits on Tehran’s nuclear development program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump and other administration officials have repeatedly said that Iran’s ballistic missile testing and other destabilizing activity violate the “spirit” of JCPOA. The White House has twice re-certified Iranian compliance, but the administration has suggested it will decline to do so for the next review period in October. Decertification of Iranian compliance would initiate a congressional review of Tehran’s actions and open the door to a new round of sanctions on the regime. (RELATED: The Iran Deal’s Days May Be Numbered. Here’s Trump’s Likely Next Move)
Washington considers Tehran’s ballistic missile tests to be a violation of the U.N. resolution that endorsed JCPOA. Iran says its missile program is within the bound of the resolution because the rockets are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Following Saturday’s missile test, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said that U.S. threats to pull out of the nuclear deal would not dissuade Tehran from developing ballistic missile technology.
“On the path to improve our country’s defensive capacity we will certainly not be the least affected by any threats and we won’t ask anyone’s permission,” he said, according to Reuters.
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