Iranian ballistic missile
Iranian ballistic missileReuters

Iran successfully test-fired a Shehab-3 medium-range ballistic missile on Wednesday which flew more than 600 miles from the southern part of the country to an area outside the capital, Tehran, a US official told Fox News on Thursday.

“We are aware of reports of a projectile launched from Iran, and have no further comment at this time,” a senior administration official told Fox News.

Iran’s ballistic missile tests are a concern for the US and were not covered by the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which is one of the reasons that US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year.

The Islamic Republic has carried out several ballistic missiles over the past several years. In February, Iran attempted to launch a satellite into space but failed when the satellite failed to reach orbit.

The US says that Iran’s ballistic missile tests are a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which 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 in the past that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.

The test of the Shahab-3 comes amid already heightened tensions between Tehran and the West.

Iran has held a British-flagged oil tanker and its 23 crew members captive since last week when the ship was seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized in the Strait of Hormuz.

The move came after the UK and Gibraltar seized the Iran-flagged tanker Grace 1 in early July. British authorities said the tanker was attempting to transport oil to Syria, a violation of EU sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the capture of the British tanker was an act of revenge for the capture of the Iranian tanker, claiming Iran had taken measures against the ship to implement international law.

Other incidents in past weeks have threatened security in the Strait, through which one-fifth of all globally traded crude oil passes. Most prominently, Iranian forces shot down a US surveillance drone of the Strait of Hormuz last month, claiming it had violated Iranian airspace.

Last week, Trump said that a US ship "destroyed" an Iranian drone – a claim denied by Iran.