In a violation of a United Nations resolution, Iran conducted its first ballistic missile test under Donald Trump’s presidency. The launch occurred yesterday in Semnan, a well-known test site about 140 miles east of the country’s capitol, Tehran.
Officials stated that the Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew about 600 miles before failing in-flight during a reentry vehicle test. Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said that Iran plans on starting production of the missile in September.
U.N. resolution 2231 – put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed – calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct these tests. However, this is at least Iran’s second such test since July. The resolution bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile test for eight years and went into effect July 20, 2015.
Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.
The deal between Iran and world powers, however, does not include provisions preventing Iran from conducting ballistic missile test, and Iran claims the tests are legitimate because they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
President Trump on Sunday spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, a conversation in which the two “agreed on the importance of rigorously enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and addressing Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” the White House said in a statement.
A ballistic missile launch could potentially fall under “destabilizing regional activities.”
The launch also came a day before Jordan’s King Abdullah arrived in Washington for meeting with Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary Mattis.
The U.S. intelligence community was able to identify Sunday’s launch due to its robust satellite network. The overhead system can detect heat signatures of missile launches and explosions from bombs being dropped around the world.
Dehqan said in September that Iran would beef up its defense capabilities by “manufacturing three fundamental products in the area of missile [development] by the end of the year.”