Trump casts doubt over Iran nuclear deal after its missile test

President Donald Trump speaks to world leaders at the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, on Sept 19, 2017.
President Donald Trump speaks to world leaders at the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, on Sept 19, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump has given a stark warning that casts further uncertainty over whether a nuclear deal clinched with Iran would survive after the Islamic republic tested a new medium-range missile.

State television on Saturday carried footage of the launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which was first displayed at a high-profile military parade in Teheran last Friday. It also carried in-flight video from the nose cone of the missile, which has a range of 2,000km.

"Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!" Mr Trump tweeted.

The test comes at the end of a heated week of diplomacy at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where Mr Trump again accused Iran of destabilising the Middle East, calling it a "rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos".

France warned that the launch violated the UN Security Council resolution that endorsed the accord.

Previous Iranian missile launches have triggered US sanctions and accusations that they violate the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal between Teheran and major powers.

Iran, which fought a war with neighbouring Iraq in the 1980s, sees missiles as a legitimate and vital part of its defence - particularly as regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel import huge amounts of military hardware from the West.

Mr Trump has threatened to bin the 2015 nuclear deal altogether, saying Iran is developing missiles that may be used to deliver a nuclear warhead when the deal's restrictions are lifted in 2025.

Israel also denounced the test as a "provocation" aimed at the United States and its allies, including the Jewish state.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2017, with the headline 'Trump casts doubt over Iran nuclear deal after its missile test'. Print Edition | Subscribe