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Iran's ballistic missile test successful: Defense minister

In this March 9, 2016 photo obtained from the Iranian Fars News Agency, a Qadr H long-range surface-to-surface missile is fired by Iranian Armed Forces. (Via AP)

Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says Iran’s recent ballistic missile test has been “successful.”

“This missile test was successful," the Iranian minister said as quoted by Tasnim News Agency, emphasizing that "Iran's missile tests are not, and have never been, in violation of  the JCPOA (Iran's nuclear deal with six world powers) or [UN Security Council] Resolution 2231.” 

Dehqan confirmed on Wednesday that the country had conducted a missile test within the framework of its defense program, saying the Islamic Republic does not allow any foreign meddling in its domestic defensive affairs.

The comments come days after the United States called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the launch of what it described as a “medium-range” missile by Iran. The meeting ended without reaching any conclusive result.

Iranian defense minister's remarks apparently came in reaction to media reports quoting some US officials as claiming that the test had failed as the missile flew some 600 miles before exploding.

Resolution 2231 was adopted by the UN Security Council in July 2015, days after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, namely Russia, China, the US, the UK, and France plus Germany, signed the JCPOA, an acronym for the deal called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

This file photo shows a long-range S-200 missile fired in a military drill by Iranian military in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf. (Photo by AP)

The resolution, which turned the JCPOA into an international document, calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Iran’s defensive ballistic missile program has been a bone of contention with the West. Tehran says its missile tests do not breach UN resolutions because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

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Arms control experts have also said that Iran’s missile tests are not banned under the nuclear agreement and the UNSC resolution, because Iran’s missiles are not meant to deliver nuclear warheads.

Iranian officials have in recent days joined voices to support the country’s defense program in the face of the latest provocative remarks by officials of the new US administration on Tehran’s domestic defense agenda.

In a Tuesday statement, 220 Iranian lawmakers expressed all-out support for Iran’s Armed Forces, saying “the reinforcement of the defense capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in line with deterrence strategy” is an absolute necessity to ensure the country’s national security.

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The Iranian Foreign Ministry has also described missile tests as an “inalienable and absolute” right of the nation, emphasizing that no country or international body can have any say in this regard.

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