Saturday, September 23, 2017

Iran Tests Ballistic Missile Amid U.S. Tensions

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Test comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump sharply criticized Iran in U.N. address

 


Iranian armed forces members march in a military parade marking just outside Tehran on Friday. Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press

By
Aresu Eqbali Sept. 23, 2017 3:52 a.m. ET
 


TEHRAN—Iran said it had tested a new medium-range ballistic missile, the day after unveiling it in defiance of U.S. criticism over its disputed nuclear program.

State television flashed images of the Khoramshahr missile’s disengaging warhead, calling it the country’s third such missile capable of traveling some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). The announcement came after it and other missiles, tanks and a submarine were displayed in a military parade on Tehran’s outskirts marking the anniversary of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.

President Hassan Rouhani on Friday vowed that his country would continue to bolster its ballistic-missile program, amid rising tensions with the U.S.

“Whether you like it or not, we will strengthen our defense and military capabilities as deemed necessary for deterrence. Not just our missiles but also our land, air and maritime capabilities,” he said in a speech. “We won’t ask anybody’s permission to defend our people.”

Mr. Rouhani also addressed a key source of tension with the U.S. and its regional allies, saying Iran would continue to defend “the wronged people of Yemen, Syria and Palestine,” indicating it wouldn’t scale back its involvement in Middle East conflicts.

The missile test comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump sharply criticized Iran in his address to the United Nations General Assembly, denouncing the landmark 2015 nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six world powers including the U.S.

U.S. sanctions introduced this year included legislation targeting the missile program. Iran regards those new sanctions as a violation of the deal, which suspended most international sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs to its nuclear program. It doesn’t mention ballistic missiles.

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