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Iran confirms recent ballistic missile test that prompted criticism

Iranian Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh. (Mahmood Hossein/Tasnim News Agency/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran has confirmed carrying out a recent missile test after Western powers strongly condemned Tehran’s launching on December 1 of medium-range ballistic missiles.

“We are continuing our missile tests and this recent one was a significant test,” the Fars news agency reported, citing Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh.

“The U.S. reaction showed that it was a big thing for them and that it upset them,” Hajizadeh said, adding that the test had put Washington “under pressure,” Fars reported.

He said Iran carried out between 40 and 50 missile tests a year.

Iran curbed most of its nuclear program under a landmark 2015 accord with world powers, but has continued to develop its ballistic-missile technology.

In a resolution adopted after the 2015 deal, the UN Security Council called on Tehran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

The resolution, however, does not specifically forbid Tehran from missile launches.

The Security Council gathered at the request of Britain and France on December 4 to discuss the latest test, which both governments described as “provocative” and “inconsistent” with Resolution 2231.

The United States, which quit the nuclear deal in May, described the test as an outright “violation” of Resolution 2231 and called on the Security Council to condemn it.

But Russia, which has veto power, has defended Iran’s right to carry out missile tests.

The council is due to meet again on December 19 for a regular review of the resolution’s implementation.