Iran threatens to increase its missile range - despite USA pushback

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

"Iran's continued testing and proliferation of ballistic missiles shows that the Iran deal has not moderated the Iranian regime as some had hoped".

Tehran will "continue to both develop and test missiles", he also said, adding that such activity "is outside the framework of [nuclear] negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country's permission".

"It is a grave and escalating threat, and nations around the world, not just Europe, need to do everything they can to be targeting Iran's missile program", he said.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the Iranian military has tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile which "has the ability to hit parts of Europe and any location in the Middle East". "Three days later, they test launched another medium range ballistic missile".

He said the test violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal signed by world powers with the Islamic republic.

The Iranian regime has just test-fired another missile this weekend - this time a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads - according to a report from the U.S. State Department.

On Monday night, Pompeo told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the deal, that the United States was committed to "confronting the totality of the Iranian regime's threats through maximum pressure", during talks in Brussels on joint efforts to curb Iranian aggression in the region, including by reining in Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group.

Pompeo's speech marks the latest attempt by a Trump official to place the president's decisions into a coherent policy plan, after visits to Brussels by his vice president and other senior USA officials.

UN Security Council resolution 2231 enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, in which Tehran curbed its disputed uranium-enrichment program in exchange for an end to global sanctions.

The US secretary of state blamed Iran and China for instability in the world at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. The agreement has the backing of most major United States allies, apart from Israel, though many in Israel's defense establishment supported it.

And while Pompeo claimed the test violated United Nations resolution 2231, the launch does not constitute a violation of the United Nations measure, according to the language of the resolution.

US President Donald Trump is building a new world order upheld by American leadership and democracy, his secretary of state told diplomats at an event in Brussels on Tuesday, blaming Iran and China for instability in the world. He added that while the strategic threat from Iran was less significant globally than the one from North Korea, he said it was regionally significant. He said Iran could resume enriching uranium to 20 percent purity if it fails to see economic benefits from the 2015 deal that curbed its nuclear program. "Our support for JCPOA in no way lessens our concern at Iran's destabilising missile programme and determination that it should cease".

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