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Iran missile tests no violation of JCPOA: Top diplomat

17 October 2015 12:56



A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic’s missile tests are not considered a breach of the recent nuclear agreement struck between Tehran and six world powers.

Tehran’s “missile tests are by no means a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Friday.

His remarks came a few days after Iran successfully test-fired a new precision-guided long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, dubbed Emad, on October 11.

“None of Iran’s missiles, including ballistic ones, have been designed to carry a nuclear warhead, and thus their production and test are not contrary to [UN Security Council] Resolution 2231,” Araqchi stressed.

The photo shows the launch of the Emad ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in Iran, October 11, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany finalized the text of the agreement dubbed the JCPOA in the Austrian capital Vienna on July 14.

Based on the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the lifting of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

On July 20, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2231, which bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Araqchi noted that Tehran will continue taking necessary measures to reinforce defensive capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and to counter any act of aggression and terrorist threats.

He made the remarks a few hours after US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power claimed that Iran’s recent ballistic missile test was “a clear violation” of UN sanctions, and that Washington will seek action from the Security Council. “We can confirm that Iran launched… a medium-range ballistic missile inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon,” Power said.

Iran has repeatedly said its missiles would never carry a nuclear warhead as it has no plans to produce atomic weapons.

Tehran has also announced that under the fatwa (decree) issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, its long-established policy is to oppose the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons.

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