Iran’s recent test firing of a ballistic missile does not violate the recent nuclear deal, Obama administration officials said on Monday. However, nuclear experts disagree and are calling on the administration to hold Iran accountable for violating international agreements barring such action.
Iran announced over the weekend that it had successfully test-fired a domestically produced long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
Iran maintained that the test does not violate the nuclear deal, though U.S. experts quibbled with this analysis.
Asked to address the reports on Monday, John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, said that the administration is “aware of reports that Iran is conducting a new round of missile tests.”
“We will take appropriate actions at the United Nations if these tests violate any existing UN Security Council resolutions,” Kirby said in the statement. “Separately, we remain confident in our ability to defend ourselves and our allies in the region. And we will continue to work closely with our regional partners to boost their capabilities to defend themselves against any threats by Iran.”
However, Secretary of State John Kerry has stated in the past that such tests would not violate the accord. The State Department maintains that this is still its position.
Kerry informed Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) in recent correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon that a ballistic missile test would not violate the accord.