Iran vows more missile tests, dismisses ‘ranting’ Trump


(CNN) — Iran promises to “vigorously” continue its missile activity Thursday and says the country will not bow to threats from the United States.

A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismisses the “extremism” of President Donald Trump, who declared Iran was “on notice” after it test-fired a ballistic missile on Sunday.

The tensions between the two countries have been simmering since the election of Trump — a harsh critic of the nuclear deal with lran that was brokered by the Obama administration. Last week after Trump announced a temporary travel ban on Iran and six other Muslim-majority nations, barring visitors from entering the United States.

On Wednesday, US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said Sunday’s test was a “provocative” breach of a UN Security Council resolution. Trump tweeted Thursday: “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE” and should have been “thankful” for the “terrible deal.”

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Thursday, the top official, Ali Akbar Velayati, dismisses the US President’s “baseless ranting” and said that even Americans were not satisfied with “Trump’s extremism,” according to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.

He blasts Trump as lacking sufficient experience, saying he should take lessons from his predecessor. Those who threaten the Muslim world should take a look at the US’ failures in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, he adds.

Velayati says all test-fired missiles were defensive and that Iran did not need to seek permission to carry out such activities.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry insists Tuesday that Sunday’s missile test was not a violation of the UN Security Council resolution, which bars Iran from testing “ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Iran has tested several ballistic missiles since the nuclear agreement was struck in 2015. In March 2016, Iran test fired two missiles with the words “Israel must be wiped off the Earth” written on them in Hebrew. That launch was condemned by the US.

Nuclear deal in danger?

The sudden escalations of US-Iranian tensions had raised concerns about the future of the Iran nuclear accord, which put stringent limits on Iran’s nuclear program. It allowed sanctions to be eased and business with Iran to recommence.

Trump has been a longtime critic of the accord, which was brokered after two years of talks with five members of the UN Security Council and Germany in 2015.

Speaking Wednesday, Flynn did not say whether the US would take action beyond a verbal warning. Three senior administration officials, speaking on background, said that they were still in the early stages of determining what action the US should take in response.

“We are considering a whole range of options. We’re in a deliberative process,” one of the officials said.

Nasser Nasser Hadian, a professor of international relations at Tehran University, told CNN it was unlikely Trump’s administration would tear up the agreement, but that it was possible it would impose fresh sanctions on the country.

Abandoning the accord “would serve hardline interests in Iran,” he said.

Trump’s travel ban

Iran has vowed “reciprocal measures” to Trump’s travel ban, and on Thursday President Hassan Rouhani criticized the ban as an example of the President “trampling on all international principles and commitments.”

“The basis for this incorrect act is based on incorrect and misplaced discrimination,” he said.

“The time is long over for us to want to use walls to distance peoples and nations.”

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