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U.S. Officials: Iran has Failed to Launch Ballistic Missile | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A ballistic missile is launched in an undisclosed location in Iran. Reuters

London-Iran has failed to launch a ballistic missile with a range of 4,000 kilometers on the eve of the anniversary of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, high-ranking U.S. officials said.

Fox News quoted U.S. intelligence officials as saying that Iran attempted several days ago to launch a new type of ballistic missile using North Korean technology.

The test reportedly ended in failure when the missile exploded shortly after liftoff.

It would be at least the fourth time Iran has launched or attempted to launch a ballistic missile since the nuclear accord was signed on July 14, 2015 in clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231.

Iran is barred from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years under the resolution, which went into effect on July 20, 2015, days after the nuclear accord was signed.

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not include provisions preventing Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests.

Iran claims its ballistic missile tests are legitimate because they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

According to Fox News, the most recent test was the first time Iran attempted to launch a version of the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which is capable of putting several targets within reach.

The extent of North Korea’s involvement in the failed launch is not immediately clear, apart from North Korea sharing their technology, said the U.S. officials.

There was no immediate reaction from U.S. Central Command when asked for comment about the failed Iranian missile launch.

Yet in an interview with Fox News last week, the head of Central Command, responsible for military operations in the Middle East, said 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. “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.”

Reuters reported last week that a confidential report by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon called Iran’s ballistic missile program “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal.

Ban left it up to the Security Council to decide if Iran is in violation of Resolution 2231. Russia and China that are permanent members of the five-nation U.N. Security Council have expressed reservations in the past about punishing Iran about its missile tests.