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Iran Tests New Ballistic Missile Despite U.S. Warning


Iran's Khorramshahr ballistic missile

Iran says it has successfully tested a new ballistic missile despite warnings from Washington that it was ready to ditch a landmark nuclear deal over the issue.

State broadcaster IRIB carried the footage of the test-firing of the Khorramshahr missile, which was first displayed at a high-profile military parade in Tehran on September 22.

"This is the third Iranian missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers," the broadcaster said as it showed footage on September 23.

State TV did not say when the test had been conducted, although Iranian officials said on September 22 that it would be tested "soon.”

The unveiling of the missile came during a military parade that commemorated the 1980s Iraq-Iran War.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said during the parade that Tehran will continue its missile program and boost the country's military capacities, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's demand that Iran stop developing "dangerous missiles."

Iranian President Hassan Rohani as he delivers his speech during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its 1980-1988 war with Iraq.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani as he delivers his speech during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its 1980-1988 war with Iraq.

On September 19, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Trump accused Iran of supporting terrorists and called Tehran's government a "corrupt dictatorship.”

Trump also called for a harder line against Iran from other members of the United Nations, saying "we cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles."

Referring to Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, including the United States, Trump said Washington "cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program."

Rohani responded to Trump remarks in his own speech to the UN General Assembly on September 20, saying Trump's speech was "ignorant, absurd, and hateful rhetoric."

Rohani said Iran will not be the first party in the nuclear accord to violate the agreement.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Trump had made a final decision to continue complying with the Iran nuclear deal, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Trump's administration has twice certified that Iran is complying with its obligations under the accord.

But it also has said that Iran's missile program violates the spirit of the nuclear agreement.

Washington is due to announce on October 15 whether it considers Iran is still complying with the agreement.

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

Washington has imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran, saying Tehran's ballistic-missile tests violated a UN resolution that endorsed the nuclear deal and called on Tehran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Tehran insists its missile program doesn’t the resolution, saying the missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa
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