Iran said Saturday it would continue its ballistic missile program after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the missile tests were not in the spirit of the country’s landmark nuclear deal with world powers.
In comments published on Iran’s foreign ministry website Saturday, spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said that “Iran will strongly continue its missile program based on its own defense and national security calculations.”
He said that Iran’s missile program was not linked to the nuclear deal and did not conflict with the UN Security Council resolution endorsing the agreement.
On Friday Tehran dismissed Ban’s report as biased and urged him to produce “a fair and realistic report.”
Reuters on Friday quoted an Iranian Foreign Ministry source as telling Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency that, “I suggest that Mr. Ban give a fair report … in which he also mentions America is not fulfilling its commitments under the deal.”
In his first six-monthly report to the UN Security Council on implementation of a resolution endorsing the landmark deal, Ban called on Iran to stop conducting ballistic missile launches. He said such actions could increase tensions in the Middle East.
But Ban’s report stopped short of saying the missile launches were a violation of the UN Security Council resolution.