Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moonReuters

Iran on Friday rejected as "unrealistic" a report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that criticized its ballistic missile launches, Reuters reported.

The report said Iran's recent ballistic missile tests were inconsistent with the nuclear deal it signed with world powers.

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) conducted ballistic missile tests in early March and called them a demonstration of its non-nuclear deterrent power.

Iran continues to conduct live tests of its ballistic missiles - some of which are capable of reaching as far as Europe - in defiance of international sanctions against the regime in Tehran.

In one such incident, the Iranian regime fired a number of ballistic missiles in tests across the country. The words “annihilate Israel” were reportedly written on the missiles, and Iranian officials claimed the missile systems being developed were needed “to confront the Zionist entity” and to ensure “its collapse”.

The United States and its European allies say that by testing nuclear-capable missiles, Tehran is defying a UN Security Council resolution and urged Ban to tackle the matter.

Reuters reported on Thursday that a confidential report by Ban had found Iran's missile tests to be inconsistent "with the constructive spirit" of the 2015 deal under which Iran curbed sensitive nuclear activity and won sanctions relief in return.

"We suggest that Mr. Ban and his colleagues... produce a realistic report...They should not yield to political pressures from some members of the (Security) Council," an unnamed Iranian Foreign Ministry official said in response, according to the Tasnim news agency.

Ban's report stopped short of calling the missile launches a "violation" of Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear agreement that defused Iranian-Western tensions which had raised fears of a wider Middle East war.

His report said it was up to the Security Council to decide if Iran violated Resolution 2231 which "calls upon" Iran to refrain for up to eight years from activity related to ballistic missiles with cones that could accommodate a nuclear warhead.

The Council is due to discuss Ban's report on July 18, according to Reuters.

Tehran has accused the United States of failing to meet its commitments under the nuclear deal, saying Washington should do more to lift its own sanctions affecting banks so businesses feel confident of being able to invest in Iran without penalty.

"I hope the Reuters report is not true ... I suggest that Mr Ban give a fair report ... in which he also mentions America is not fulfilling its commitments under the deal," the official told the Tasnim agency.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has expressed support for the tests, and has stressed that missiles, and not negotiations, will be a part of his country’s future relations with the outside world.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)