Iran missile tests did not violate nuclear deal: US

Washington, March 9 (IANS) The United States said that Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests did not violate an international nuclear agreement, adding it will address the issue appropriately with “unilateral and multilateral tools”.

“This is not a violation of the nuclear agreement,” Xinhua quoted White House spokesman Josh Earnest as saying on Tuesday, referring to “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” — the nuclear deal implementation mechanism.

The P5+1 group, namely the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, reached the comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran on July 14, 2015. The accord would provide sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for limits on its controversial nuclear programme.

Earnest, however, said an investigation was underway to review the incident and determine whether it should be raised at the UN Security Council.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iran test-fired several ballistic missiles in the ongoing military drills attended by the senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The missile drill was aimed “to show Iran’s deterrent power and also its ability to confront any threat against the (Islamic) Revolution, the state and the sovereignty of the country”, the IRGC’s official website said.

Earnest stressed that if it was determined that Iran ballistic missiles tests were in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Tehran could face “some consequences”.

Also on Tuesday, US State Department spokesman John Kirby echoed Earnest that the tests, if confirmed, will not be a breach of the Iran nuclear deal. However, he warned that United States will not “turn a blind eye to this”.

“We have and we will use unilateral and multilateral tools to address this. If these latest reports are true, we’ll take them up appropriately,” Kirby said.

Separately, under UN Security Council Resolution 1929, Iran is prohibited from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

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