US has tough words for Iran following ‘provocative’ ballistic missile test
A UN Security Council resolution bans Iran from developing missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. (AFP/File)
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The White House had tough words for Iran on Wednesday over a recent ballistic missile test, calling the move a provocation and a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
"As of today we are officially putting Iran on notice," National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said, in his first appearance before reporters since Donald Trump became president last month.
The missile test at the weekend, along with an attack this week on a Saudi naval vessel by Iran-backed Houthi militants, "underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran's destabilizing behaviour across the Middle East," Flynn said.
The US statement was designed to send a message to Tehran to stop its provocative behaviour, said a senior US official, who spoke about the remarks on condition of anonymity.
The White House would not specify what actions might be taken if Tehran continued its provocations, or whether military actions were a possibility.
The US confirmed that a medium-range missile was launched Sunday and White House officials said it was a type that was "inherently capable" of being used to launch a nuclear weapon.
The move was a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran from taking any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.
US officials stressed the move was separate from the international Iran nuclear deal.
"In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten US friends and allies in the region," Flynn said, denouncing the previous administration of Barack Obama for not doing enough to contain Iran and saying Tehran had been emboldened to conduct more provocative behaviour by "various agreements" between the US, Iran and the United Nations.
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