Iran ‘should have been thankful’: Trump issues warning after missile test

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

U.S. President Donald Trump says Iran has been “formally put on notice” for firing a medium-range ballistic missile.

President Donald Trump.

Trump also said in a Twitter post on Feb. 2 that Iranian leaders “should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!,” referring to a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and leading international powers.

“Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion,” a second tweet read.

Trump has frequently criticized the July 2015 nuclear deal, calling it weak and ineffective.

Iran has conducted several missile tests since the agreement, which restricted Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, but the latest launch was the first since the new U.S. president took office on Jan. 20.

The U.S. administration says Iran’s Jan. 29 missile launch defied a 2015 UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran not to test nuclear-capable missiles, which Tehran denies.

Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said on Feb. 1 that the previous U.S. administration of Barack Obama “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions” and put Iran “on notice,” without elaborating on what actions may be taken.

But Tehran says it won’t yield to U.S. threats over the missile test that it says was part of efforts to develop the Islamic republic’s conventional defensive capability.

The new U.S. administration “will understand that threatening Iran is useless,” Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said earlier on Feb. 2.

“Iran does not need permission from any country to defend itself,” Velayati was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Fars news agency.

A U.S. official was quoted as saying the Iranian ballistic missile exploded after traveling 1,000 kilometers, but Teheran denies this.

“The missile test on Sunday was successful,” Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan told the semiofficial Tasnim news agency on Feb. 2.

“The test was not a violation of a nuclear deal with world powers or any UN resolution,” Dehghan insisted.