Middle East

Iran ballistic missile test condemned by US

A new Iranian precision-guided ballistic missile is launched at an undisclosed location (11 October 2015) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The US accused Iran of "almost serially violating the international community's concerns" about its ballistic missile programme

The US has condemned a recent medium range ballistic missile test by Iran as a "clear violation" of UN sanctions and a sign of the country's disregard for its international obligations.

The nuclear weapons-capable missile was launched on 10 October.

US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that her country was "deeply concerned" by the test firing.

Correspondents say however that it is unlikely to derail the recent US-Iran nuclear agreement.

But it does illustrate that despite the deal there is still little love lost between the two countries, BBC Defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

Iran's parliament on Tuesday approved the deal, negotiated with the US and five world powers.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Iran displays missiles as part of a military parade in Tehran every September
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Experts say Iran's new Emad surface-to-surface missile is more reliable than its predecessors such as these Shahab-2 long-range ballistic missiles

Last month, US Republicans failed in their attempt to block the accord in Congress.

The US said on Friday that the test firing breached a 2010 UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits Iran from testing the category of missile fired last weekend.

The launch may also be against the spirit of continuing restrictions contained in the deal reached between Iran and the major powers over its wider nuclear activities, our correspondent says.

Iran's new Emad surface-to-surface missile is said to have a range of 1,700km (1,056 miles) and be more reliable than earlier versions.

"The Security Council prohibition on Iran's ballistic missile activities, as well as the arms embargo, remain in place and we will continue to press the Security Council for an appropriate response," Ms Power said in a statement.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also expressed concern, accusing Iran of "almost serially violating the international community's concerns about their ballistic missile programme".

The nuclear agreement in July - reached after 20 months of negotiations - authorises the lifting of sanctions in return for Iran curbing sensitive nuclear activities.

Iran insists that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

The bill now has to be ratified by Iran's constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council.

The deal has come in for criticism from hardliners in both the US and Iran.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The nuclear deal came after long negotiations

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