Iran Tests Long-range Ballistic Missile, May Have Violated Terms of Nuclear Agreement

iran-tests-long-range-missile-emad

Iran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile on Sunday, hours before Parliament, in a rowdy session, approved the generalities of the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and world powers, the state news agency IRNA reported.

The missile launch may have violated the terms of the agreement, reached in Vienna with six world powers. According to some readings of the deal, it placed restrictions on Iran’s ambitious missile program.

Experts have been debating the interpretation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, adopted a few days after the accord was agreed upon, that bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”

Hard-line Iranian officials had for months been demanding new missile tests, a common practice before the negotiations over the country’s nuclear program began in 2013.

The missile — named Emad, or pillar — is a step up from Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles because it can be guided toward its target, the Iranian defense minister, Hossein Dehghan, told the semiofficial Fars news agency. In recent decades, with Iran’s air force plagued by economic sanctions and other restrictions, the country has invested heavily in its nuclear program and has produced missiles that can reach as far as Europe.

“We don’t seek permission from anyone to strengthen our defense and missile capabilities,” Mr. Dehghan said.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: NY Times, Thomas Erdbrink