Published: Sun, September 24, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Iran defies United States warnings, tests new medium-range missile

Iran defies United States warnings, tests new medium-range missile

The test comes at the end of a heated week of diplomacy at the UN General Assembly in NY, where US President Donald Trump again accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East, calling it a "rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos".

"Our armed forces and defence power have always been for strengthening peace and we have never utilised our defensive power for conquering a land but exclusively defending our own motherland", added the Iranian president. "When it comes to defending our country, we will ask nobody for their permission", President Hassan Rouhani said.

Trump has until mid-October to decide whether to stick to the deal.

Iran has tested a new ballistic missile which is capable of hitting targets 1,200 miles away, according to state media.

"We will increase our military power as a deterrent".

The Iranian test-launch constituted a direct challenge to Trump, who last month signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

Rouhani has said that the Trump administration is seeking "an excuse" to pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement that capped Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of global sanctions on Iran.

She added: "History and the experience of other rogue states such as North Korea has also shown the Iranian government that it is only from a position of strength that regimes such as Iran's can be protected".

"Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel", Trump wrote. If he decides that it is not, it could open the way for renewed USA sanctions and perhaps the collapse of the agreement.

Other signatories to the nuclear accord are Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany.

The entire global community praised the deal "except only two people", Rouhani said, referring to Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In that speech, Trump criticized the nuclear deal as "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into".

"It has the potential to carry nuclear warheads, but I am skeptical as to whether it can carry multiple ones because nuclear warheads are so large", said Fitzpatrick, who also heads the think tank's Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme.

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