July 27, 2019 / 12:44 PM / a month ago

Iran says missile tests defensive, needs no one's permission

FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday missile tests were part of its defensive needs and were not directed against any country, after Washington said Tehran had test-fired a medium-range missile.

A U.S. defence official said Iran tested what appeared to be a medium-range ballistic missile on Wednesday that travelled about 1,000 km (620 miles), adding that the test did not pose a threat to shipping or U.S. personnel in the region.

“An informed source at the armed forces staff said Iran’s missile tests are natural within its defensive needs. This missile capacity is not against any country, and only aims to respond to possible aggression,” Iranian news agencies reported.

“Iran does not need the permission of any power in the world for its self-defence,” the reports quoted the military source as saying.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme last year and stepped up sanctions on Tehran.

He said the nuclear deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Iran has ruled out talks with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly the missile programme that it says is defensive. It denies the missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads and says its nuclear programme is peaceful.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Mark Potter and Edmund Blair

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