The Trump administration on Saturday accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range ballistic missile, with the capability to strike parts of Europe and the Middle East -- a move the U.S. says is in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Secretary Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Iran had fired the missile, capable of carrying multiple warheads, and it was in violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 -- which calls on Iran to refrain from “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
Resolution 2231 was the Security Council’s endorsement of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from in May.
“As we have been warning for some time, Iran’s missile testing and missile proliferation is growing,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We are accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence. We condemn these activities, and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
The Trump administration has been continually pointing to “malign activities” by the Iranian regime that they say violates the Iran deal -- which Trump has repeatedly described as one of the worst deals “ever made” -- and other international agreements.
On Thursday, the administration accused Iran of violating a U.N. ban on arms exports by sending rockets and other weapons to rebels in Afghanistan and Yemen, and showed weapons and fragments seized that it said provided “irrefutable evidence” that Iran’s activity is getting worse in the region.
"It's important for all nations to understand that this is a global threat that requires a global response," Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told reporters. "it would be an act of negligence for us to be in possession of these arms and not to publicize it."
The Trump administration has reimposed economic sanctions on the regime, with sanctions on crude oil exports re-imposed last month. President Trump, at a U.N. Security Council meeting in September, warned that the U.S. "will pursue additional sanctions, tougher than ever before, to counter the entire range of Iran's malign conduct."
Pompeo announced in October that the U.S. was terminating a 1955 treaty with Iran after the U.N.'s International Court of Justice used it to order to the U.S. to ease some of its economic sanctions on the regime."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.