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White House sees signs Iran missile test violated UN resolution

The White House insisted the launch would have no impact on a recent landmark nuclear deal
An undated picture released on 11 October 11, 2015 by the Iranian Defence Ministry on their website reportedly shows an Imad missile before it is tested at an undisclosed location in Iran (AFP)

The White House said on Tuesday that Iran probably breached a UN Security Council resolution when it tested a long-range ballistic missile, raising the prospect of recriminations. 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there were "strong indications" that Tehran "did violate UN Security Council resolutions that pertain to Iran's ballistic missile activities".

Earnest suggested the ballistic missile test was intended to relieve worries among hard-liners in Iran who are against the nuclear deal. He said the US is still collecting more information regarding the tests before coming to a final determination, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Iran announced on Sunday it had successfully tested a new domestically produced long-range missile, which it said was the first that could be guided all the way to targets. 

A State Department spokesman said the issue would be raised at the United Nations, as US President Barack Obama's administration indicated that efforts to prohibit progress on Iran's missile programmes would be increased.

"The UN Security Council resolution actually gives the international community some tools to interdict some equipment and material that could be used to advance their ballistic missile programme," said Earnest.

This, he said "gives us the ability to work in concert with our partners around the world to engage a strategy to try to disrupt continued progress of their ballistic missile programme."

Separately, a State Department official said the test appeared to have breached UN Security Council resolution 1929, which does not foresee automatic sanctions.

"It does, however, establish a UN panel of experts to investigate reported violations and directs the Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee to respond effectively to violations," the State Department said.

The White House insisted the launch would have no impact on a recent landmark nuclear deal.

"This is altogether separate from the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the rest of the world," Earnest said.

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