The medium-range ballistic missile is capable of carrying multiple warheads, has a range that allows it to strike parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East, and violates a United Nations Security Council resolution, Pompeo said in a statement released Saturday by the State Department.
U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 bans Iran from undertaking “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
“As we have been warning for some time, Iran’s missile testing and missile proliferation is growing,” Pompeo said in the 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 launch itself, however, did not reveal any capabilities that the U.S. was not aware of, an unnamed defense official told CNN. CNN said the official; was directly familiar with the initial data from the launch.
“Iran’s missile program has a defensive nature and is designed according to the needs of the country,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement quoted by the state-owned PressTV.
He noted that the resolution cited by Pompeo endorsed the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran nuclear deal signed between Iran and the world powers, that the United States unilaterally left in May.