On December 1, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a press statement detailing a medium-range ballistic missile test launch conducted by Iran. According to the statement, the missile is “capable of carrying multiple warheads” and has a range that allows it to strike targets in Europe. It is unclear whether the Secratary’s comments reference the missile employing multiple independently guided reentry vehicle (MIRV) technology, or submunitions. Iran has boasted a submunitions capability in previous statements, but is not known to possess MIRVed missiles. Secretary Pompeo also stated that the test violates UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran from engaging in “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
On December 2, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to U.S. condemnation of the launch, claiming, “There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting the missile programme and missile tests by Iran.” He also stated that Iran’s missile programme is defensive in nature. BG Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for Iranian armed forces, vowed to continue testing and development of missiles, emphasizing that Iran “will not ask any country’s permission” to do so.