Iranian Minister Issues Vague Denial About Reported Missile Test
May 09, 2016
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has issued a vague denial after a media outlet close to the military said it had recently test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile.
Dehghan told the official IRNA news agency on May 9 that the military has not conducted a missile test "with the range that was published in the media," without elaborating.
The semiofficial Tasnim news agency earlier quoted General Ali Abdollahi, deputy chief of army headquarters, as saying that Iran had successfully tested a missile two weeks ago with a range of 2,000 kilometers.
The U.S. State Department said it could not confirm the report, but if true such a step would be provocative and destabilizing.
Iran's recent missiles tests have been heavily criticized by the United States and some European nations.
Iran has said its test-firings do not violate a UN Security Council resolution adopted after Tehran signed a nuclear deal with world powers that calls for Tehran not to launch any ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.
Iran denies that its missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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