Iran tests new surface-to-air missile, defying Trump's warnings
The test follows a recent heightening of tensions between Tehran and the new US administration under President Donald Trump.
Iran maintains that it has the right to carry out missile tests. Following last year’s nuclear deal, designed to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme to peaceful purposes, the UN passed a resolution requesting the country not to conduct such tests, but did not prohibit them outright.
Last week Trump took to Twitter to warn Iran that is was “playing with fire” following a ballistic missile test at the same site, and warned that US policy towards Iran would be less “kind” than the previous administration.
The US Treasury then imposed new sanctions on a number of individuals and companies suspected of aiding Iran’s ballistic missile programme.
Amid the rising tensions, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thumbed his nose at the Trump administration, sarcastically thanking the new president for “showing the true face of America.”
In turn White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed “there's a new president in town."
Reports also indicate that the US is considering designating the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, according to Reuters.
Some have warned such a move would have the potential to cause instability inside Iran and further afield, not least because the IGRC is active in the regional fight against IS, and often advise Iraqi forces allied to the US.
IRGC-trained militias are active in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, fighting against jihadists but also propping up regimes allied to Tehran.