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U.S. Threatens Iran Over Missile Test

OguzTV: The Trump administration condemned Iran on Wednesday for its recent test of a ballistic missile, saying it was putting Tehran “on notice” and threatening reprisals, still unspecified, from the United States.

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” said Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, speaking in the White House briefing room. He said Iran’s test was the latest in a series of provocative actions that had destabilized the region and violated United Nations resolutions.

Mr. Flynn did not specify how the administration would respond, although other officials have said the White House is weighing sanctions on the Iranian government. Officials planned to brief the news media later on Wednesday afternoon.

“The Obama administration failed to respond adequately to Iran’s malign actions,” Mr. Flynn said.

He said the United States and Iran had signed several agreements that he labeled “weak and ineffective.” Instead of being grateful to the United States, he said, Iran had escalated its provocations.

There was no immediate comment from the Iranian government on Mr. Flynn’s remarks. But the National Iranian American Council, a group that has criticized the Iran government while advocating improved ties with the United States, condemned Mr. Flynn.

“While Flynn’s remarks could be construed as simply bluster, they will begin an Iranian response which in turn will beget further threats by the U.S.,” Trita Parsi, the council’s president, said in a statement. “At some point, this escalatory cycle that started with bluster may end in war.”

Political risk analysts who follow Iran also expressed concern. Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group in Washington, called Mr. Flynn’s remarks “very worrisome.”

Mr. Kupchan and others also questioned how Iran’s missile tests had violated the particular Security Council resolution in question, 2231 of 2015, in which Iran is “called upon” to refrain from missile tests but is not specifically forbidden from conducting them.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran confirmed that it had recently conducted a missile test, but it rejected accusations from the United States that the launch had violated a United Nations Security Council resolution.

The confirmation by the defense minister, Hossein Dehghan, was the first by an Iranian official since the country was accused of violating the 2015 resolution because the test involved a ballistic missile that could theoretically carry a nuclear warhead.

The remarks came a day after President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif disparaged President Trump for his immigration order barring refugees, as well as citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries including Iran.

“Banning visas for other nations is the act of newcomers to the political scene,” Mr. Rouhani said.

Mr. Dehghan emphasized that the missile test did not, in Iran’s view, violate the terms of the resolution, nor those of the 2015 nuclear agreement that preceded it.

No country will be allowed to interfere in Iranian domestic affairs, he said, adding that tests would continue.

“Our nation has tested itself in this path,” Mr. Dehghan said, adding that the world had “tested us” and that “these statements and measures cannot affect the will of our nation.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly described the nuclear agreement, reached with the United States and other countries, as “a very bad deal,” and many of his advisers have argued in speeches and books that Iran is the biggest threat to American interests.

“You’re going to see us call them out as we said we would, and you are also going to see us act accordingly,” Nikki R. Haley, the new United States ambassador to the United Nations, said on Tuesday.

The United States called an urgent meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

Iran does not have a modern fleet of fighter jets, but it has tried to compensate in recent decades by building an extensive defense program, with missiles able to strike Israel and Southern and Eastern Europe.

It has denied that its missiles can carry nuclear warheads, a view that has been supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors parts of the execution of the nuclear agreement.

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