An Iranian missile test in February 2017
Iran test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile late Wednesday, says “a US official with direct knowledge of the event”.
The Shahab-3 missile traveled 1,000 km (620 miles) from southeeast Iran into the north, the official claimed. Amid US-Iran tension with attacks and seizures of tankers and downing of drones, the official said the missile did not pose a threat to shipping or US bases.
The test does not violate UN resolutions. However, European countries such as France are seeking a deal on missile research and development complementing the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia).
UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear deal, “called upon” Iran to refrain from activities related to ballistic missiles that may be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
In February, the European Union launched a mechanism for limited non-dollar trade in Iranian oil and other commodities and goods, bypassing US sanctions after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
But the EU linked the Special Purpose Vehicle to concern over Iran’s missile program, so Tehran rejected the initiative because of “humiliating conditions”.
The Supreme Leader and President Hassan Rouhani, as well as military commanders, have declared Iran’s strength through its ongoing development of missile capability.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in early March, as Iran rejected the Special Purpose Vehicle, “The reason why the US and some Western countries are angry is that we make our missiles by relying on domestic specialists and are not dependent on them.”