Missile Test Does Not Violate JCPOA

Missile Test Does Not Violate JCPOA  Missile Test Does Not Violate JCPOA

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson denied as "incorrect" the claim by some western officials that Iran's testing of the Emad, a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile, at the weekend was in breach of the provisions of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six major powers on July 14.

In compliance with the deal, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to endorse it. Resolution 2231 includes a ban on Tehran's ballistic missile program for eight years.

The West insists the ban is binding as part of the constraints Iran accepted under the pact in return for relief from sanctions.

Officials in Tehran, however, have on many occasions made it clear that they will not comply with the ban as it is contained in an annex to the resolution and, therefore, is non-binding.

"Conducting missile tests by Iran is by no means in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official title of the deal] because it makes no mention of Iran's defense capabilities, including the missile program," Marzieh Afkham told Fars News Agency late on Monday.

"Iran's defense capabilities is a totally separate issue from the JCPOA. Besides, according to Resolution 2231, the ban applies to missiles with the capability of  carrying nuclear warheads. As the Iranian missiles lack such capability, they do not fall within the purview of the resolution and its annexes."

The deal says, "Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology" for eight years.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will press on with measures necessary to boost its defense capabilities to protect its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity against aggression and against the threat of terrorism in the region," she added.

The resolution allows for supply of ballistic missile technology and heavy weapons to Iran with Security Council approval, but the United States has pledged to veto any such requests.

On the day the new missile was tested, Defense Minister Lieutenant General Hossein Dehqan reiterated Tehran's stance that it will not link any decision to strengthen its defense and missile power to the approval of this or that party.

A US administration official told CNN on Monday that the test "likely" violated the UNSC resolution. He emphasized, however, that the test is not in violation of the historic nuclear deal because that accord is focused on restricting Iran's nuclear program.