Saturday, 16 July 2016
- Launch on 11 July in city of Saman, an hour west of Isfahan
- Test failed as Musudan missile exploded shortly after lift off
- Comes two days before anniversary of historic nuclear accord
- It took North Korea five attempts to launch the same missile
Iran has attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile based on North Korean technology, say American intelligence officials.
The missile is said to have been launched on 11 July near the the city of Saman, an hour west of Isfahan.
The test reportedly ended in failure when the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile exploded shortly after lift off.
The maximum range of the missile is nearly 2,500 miles, meaning it could reach U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel, reports Fox News.
The test comes two days before the anniversary of an historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers and is at least the fourth attempted launch since the deal was signed.
Iran is not banned from testing non-nuclear ballistic missiles under the nuclear accord but is barred from doing so under UN Resolution 2231.
The Resolution calls upon Iran 'not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.'
It took North Korea five attempts before it successfully put a Musadan missile in space prompting the US to deploy an advanced anti-ballistic missile system known as THAAD into South Korea.
The US head of Central Command, responsible for military operations in the Middle East, told Fox News that Iran continues to cause trouble in the region.
'Iran's behavior hasn't significantly changed as a result of the nuclear agreement,' said Gen. Joseph Votel.
After Iran's previous attempt to launch a missile in March, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the tests were 'not consistent' with the spirit of the agreement
'They continue to pursue malign activities, and they continue to foment instability in areas where we need stability so I remain concerned about that continued behavior.'
After Iran's previous attempt to launch a missile in March, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council that the tests were 'not consistent' with the spirit of the nuclear agreement signed with world powers.
The secretary general left it up to the Security Council to determine what, if anything, should be done in response.
His report did not clearly state whether the Iranian tests violated the provisions of the landmark nuclear deal signed in July 2015 in Vienna.
Under the agreement, Tehran agreed to curb its atomic program. Western powers accused Iran of using the program to develop a nuclear bomb, but Tehran always denied the allegation.
Iran's foreign ministry last week rejected Ban's report as 'contradicting the text of the agreement'.
It instead called for a report on 'America's failure to undertake its commitments in the deal, as all countries who have restored economic cooperations with Iran have acknowledged'.
Tehran accuses Washington of failing to reassure foreign companies and especially international banks planning to restore links with Iran.
The deal led to the lifting of sanctions in January. However, Iran's ballistic missile program was not covered by the agreement.
'While it is for the Security Council to interpret its own resolutions, I am concerned that those ballistic missile launches are not consistent with the constructive spirit demonstrated by the signing' of the nuclear deal, reads part of Ban's 16-page report, dated July 1.
'I am concerned by the ballistic missile launches conducted by Iran in March 2016.
'I call upon Iran to refrain from conducting such ballistic missile launches since they have the potential to increase tensions in the region.'