Iran vows to continue missile tests despite US sanctions

Iranian army spokesperson Abolfazl Shekarchi says tests will strengthen Tehran's deterrence capacity.

    Shekarchi remarks came shortly after the United States accused Tehran of carrying out a new missile test [File: Vahid Salemi/The Associated Press]
    Shekarchi remarks came shortly after the United States accused Tehran of carrying out a new missile test [File: Vahid Salemi/The Associated Press]

    Iran's top military spokesperson has said his country would continue to carry out missile tests to build up its defence and deterrence capabilities.

    "Missile tests ... are carried out for defence and the country's deterrence and we will continue this," General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior spokesman for Iran's armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

    His remarks on Sunday came shortly after the United States accused Tehran of carrying out a new missile test. Shekarchi did not confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a new test.

    US Secretary of State of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he described as Iran's testing of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads as a violation of the international agreement on Tehran's nuclear programme.

    On Sunday, Iran also unveiled its new domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties.

    The Sahand has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and electronic warfare capabilities, state television reported.

    The US reimposed oil and financial sanctions against Iran in November, a move it said was aimed at curbing its alleged missile and nuclear programmes.

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani vowed to break the sanctions imposed on Tehran's vital energy and banking sectors.

    Pompeo said the sanctions are intended to convince Iran to "abandon its current revolutionary course".

    In August, he formed a dedicated group to coordinate and run the country's policy towards Iran following US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the multinational nuclear deal with Tehran.

    Trump announced in May that his administration was withdrawing from what he called the "worst ever" agreement negotiated by the US and reimposed sanctions on Iran in August.

    Other parties to the deal, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, have said they will not leave.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies