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Iran confirms missile test, spurns foreign intervention

Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan

Iran confirms it recently carried out a missile test within the framework of its defense program, saying the Islamic Republic does not allow any foreign intervention in affairs concerning its defensive prowess.

“The recent test has been in line with our [defense] program, and we do not let any foreigner intervene in our defense affairs,” Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said on Wednesday.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a government meeting in reaction to US calls on Tuesday for a UN Security Council (UNSC) emergency meeting on a missile launch by Iran.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Iran had “a medium-sized missile launch testing on January 29.”

Dehqan reaffirmed assertions made by several Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, that the test had not violated UNSC Resolution 2231.

The Resolution was adopted on July 20, 2015 to endorse a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the resolution, Iran is “called upon” not to undertake any activity related to missiles “designed to be capable of” delivering nuclear weapons. Iran says it is not involved in any such missile work and has no such warheads.

“The test is in no way in contravention of Resolution 2231,” Dehqan likewise said.

“We have always stated that we never abandon developing and reinforcing our defense foundation in line with our interests,” said the Iranian defense chief, adding that the Islamic Republic does not “require anyone’s permission” in this regard.

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On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi also defended the country’s missile tests as the “inalienable and absolute” right of the nation, saying the Islamic Republic would never seek permission from anyone to defend itself.

Elsewhere in his comments, the Iranian defense chief also addressed the issue of the military maneuvers underway in the Persian Gulf.

The US, the UK, France and Australia started a three-day joint naval exercise called Unified Trident in the region on Tuesday. The exercises reportedly simulate a potential confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

With the inauguration of the new US administration, the Persian Gulf states are worried about their future, and seek to strengthen their position in the region, Dehqan said.

“These [efforts], however, are of no avail. Countries which do not rely on their own people’s will cannot advance any goals.”

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