The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, criticised Iran's missile programme at the weekend and will be at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels over the next two days to underline his message about the threat to Middle East stability posed by Iran.
"There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting the missile program and missile tests by Iran".
In late March, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underscored the need for boosting Iran's defense capabilities, warning that enemies are making use of every tool available to undermine the Islamic Republic. As Washington, D.C., moves forward with a bevy of new sanctions on Iran, some European allies have continued to balk the US administration, seeking avenues to preserve the nuclear pact and ensure economic ties with Tehran remain open.
The U.S. and other Western officials have dismissed Tehran's claims that the ballistic missile program is defensive in nature.
Qasemi did not confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a new missile test.
The Iranian ballistic missile test comes on the heels of new evidence unearthed by the United States tying Tehran to the proliferation of advanced weaponry and missiles across the Middle East, including in Yemen, where Iranian-backed rebels continue to attack a Saudi coalition seeking to stem the violence.
"You know, we go back to a history where our cities were being showered with missiles from Saddam Hussein... and Iran did not have a single missile to work as a deterrence against its citizens", Zarif added in an open reference to Saddam Hussein's war against Iran in the 1980s.
Pompeo warned in the statement of "accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence".
The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that's capable of carrying multiple warheads. The idea that a nuclear-tipped missile would be "defensive" in nature is absurd, but there are Iranian apologists in the USA who back Tehran up.
"They are within our reach and we can hit them if the [Americans] make a move", he said, according to a translation of his remarks carried by Reuters.
In September, Iran's defense ministry said it planned to improve the capabilities of its ballistic and cruise missiles. Mr. Trump said the deal was flawed, as it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for armed proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. In a Mossad operation, Israel earlier this year spirited out a trove of Iranian documentation from Tehran's nuclear weapons archive, which Netanyahu said proved conclusively that Iran is lying when it says it has not been working toward a nuclear weapons arsenal.