Iran's Rouhani vows to strengthen missile capabilities despite US warnings

Iran has "successfully" launched a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km, a state-media report said on Saturday.

The prospect of Washington reneging on the deal has anxious some of the US allies that helped negotiate it, especially as the world grapples with North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development.

For the first time, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps displayed the S-300 advanced Russian air defense system in the heart of capital Tehran near the parliament building.

The Trump administration has twice certified Iranian compliance with the deal in notifications to the US Congress under an American law.

The missile test came after U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traded insults at the United Nations earlier this week.

He continued, "We can not let a murderous regime continue these terrorists destabilizing while building unsafe missiles and we Hezbollah provide by an can not if it provides cover for the eventual agreement of a nuclear program".

President Donald Trump has threatened to bin the agreement, saying that Iran's missile programme could give it the technical know-how for a delivery system for a nuclear warhead when a sunset clause in the deal expires in 2025.

The test comes at the end of a heated week of diplomacy at the UN General Assembly in NY, where Trump again accused Iran of destabilising the Middle East, calling it a "rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos".

Mr Rouhani said Iran would strengthen its missile capabilities without asking for any country's permission.

"We have said time and again and we have proven that our missiles are for defense", Zarif said, reminding how Saddam Hussein ordered airstrikes on the Iranian territory in the Iran-Iraq war.

"Trump's fake empathy for Iranians rings ever more hollow, with his new and even more offensive travel ban against such outstanding citizens", Tweeted Zarif. "As North Korea continues to improve its ability to do longer-range missiles and to put nuclear weapons on those missiles, it is very unlikely if they get that capability that they wouldn't share it with lots of folks". Did Trump intend to apply the naiveté and incompetence that he attributes to Barack Obama and John Kerry, equally to the leaders of China, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China? "It's a Security Council agreement and the United States is a member of the Security Council".

Trump has criticized the nuclear deal and said it must be strengthened, or the US could walk away.

The agreement permits Iran to use nuclear power for civil purposes, but not for weapons.

  • Jon Douglas