Newspaper article International New York Times

Iran Stages 2nd Day of Missile-Firing Drills ; Tests Appear Designed to Provoke the West, but No Sign of Broken Pledges

Newspaper article International New York Times

Iran Stages 2nd Day of Missile-Firing Drills ; Tests Appear Designed to Provoke the West, but No Sign of Broken Pledges

Article excerpt

Iran has riled conservative critics of the nuclear deal with a succession of missile tests, but it is not clear whether the activity violates any proscriptions.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran conducted a second successive day of missile tests on Wednesday, firing two rockets that it said hit targets over 850 miles away.

The missiles were launched from the eastern part of the Alborz mountain range that hugs the Caspian Sea in northern Iran, the semiofficial news agency Tasnim reported.

While Iran has riled conservative critics of the nuclear deal with a succession of missile tests, it is not clear whether the latest activity violates any proscriptions.

Before the signing of the accord with the United States and international powers, Iran was barred under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 from any work on ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. That resolution was revoked with the nuclear deal and replaced by Security Council Resolution 2231, which "calls upon" Iran to abstain from such activity.

Tehran says that it has a right to pursue defensive weapons systems and that, since it has given up any semblance of a nuclear program, it cannot in any event be working on a nuclear capability.

"We have huge reserves of various range ballistic missiles that are ready to target enemies and their aims, at any time, from different points of the country," Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, told reporters on the sidelines of the missile-firing drills in Kavir, Qum Province, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

The Obama administration concluded that an earlier round of missile tests in the fall violated the new resolution and prepared a list of sanctions against individuals and businesses involved in the launchings. It then infuriated congressional Republicans by delaying its application until after the nuclear deal went into effect. …

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