Iranian ballistic missile
Iranian ballistic missile Reuters

Iran confirmed on Tuesday that it had carried out a recent missile test after Western powers criticized a December 1 launch of medium-range ballistic missiles, AFP reports.

“We are continuing our missile tests and this recent one was a significant test,” said Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.

“The US reaction showed that it was a big thing for them and that it upset them,” Hajizadeh added. He noted that Iran carried out between 40 and 50 missile tests a year.

The test had put Washington “under pressure”, claimed Hajizadeh.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that Tehran had tested a new missile capable of carrying multiple warheads in violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement it signed with the West.

A day later, Iran made clear that it would continue its missile tests to build up its defenses and once again denied this was in breach of UN resolutions.

When US President Donald Trump left the 2015 nuclear deal last May, he cited the agreement’s failure to deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program as one of the reasons for withdrawing.

UN Security Council resolution 2231 enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in which Tehran curbed its disputed uranium enrichment program in exchange for an end to international sanctions.

The resolution says Iran is “called upon” to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Iran, however, denies its ballistic missile tests violate this resolution. President Hassan Rouhani has stressed that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.

In addition to the US, France’s Foreign Ministry also expressed concern over Iran’s latest missile test, saying it was a provocative and destabilizing act.

France has in the past expressed concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and has suggested that Iran could be sanctioned over it, though it has rejected the idea that these sanctions be tied to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.