Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday rejected US warnings against his country carrying out ballistic missile tests.

“Iran's launch of space vehicles — and missile tests—are NOT in violation of Res 2231. The US is in material breach of same, and as such it is in no position to lecture anyone on it,” he tweeted.

“Reminder to the US: 1. Res 1929 is dead; 2. threats engender threats, while civility begets civility,” added Zarif.

Earlier on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran to cease its efforts to develop ballistic missiles and demanded that it drop its plans for a space launch.

"We advise the regime to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation," said Pompeo.

"Such actions would once again demonstrate Iran’s defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons," he added.

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, which the US says Iran violates with its ballistic missile tests, enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

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.

Last month, Pompeo said 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.