Iran rips 'useless' threats from 'inexperienced person'

Iran rips 'useless' threats from 'inexperienced person'

The nation maintains that it did not violate the U.N. resolution and Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said "threatening Iran is useless".

The White House said it is putting Iran "on notice" for testing ballistic missiles as the Trump administration turned its focus to a key foreign-policy area the new president vowed to address after taking office.

Flynn insisted that Sunday's missile test was "in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231", which calls on Iran not to test missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapon.

According to a 2015 United Nations resolution endorsing the deal, Iran is still called upon to refrain from work on ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

Trump was asked by reporters Thursday what he might do after recent Iranian missile tests and the sea-strike by Houthi rebels against a Saudi ship in the Red Sea. But the agreement didn't unwind all U.S. sanctions, and Iranian officials have repeatedly complained that many foreign companies and banks remain reluctant of running afoul of those restrictions, limiting new investment.

As Iran is seeking to produce and export more oil and was even exempt from the OPEC deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) starting from January, the deterioration of relations with the United States can hit its energy ambitions.

"Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the USA came along and gave it a lifeline in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion", he added.

"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice", Flynn said from the White House briefing room.

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Iran's missiles, he said, are "not designed for the capability of carrying a nuclear warhead".

The council agreed to have its Iran committee do an investigation.

Also on Thursday, a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would not yield to "useless" USA threats from "an inexperienced person" over its ballistic missile programme. "It is clear that Iran will no longer be given a pass and will be held accountable for its illicit behaviour", he said.

"If you're going to make a threat, you need to be prepared to carry through with it", said Fred Kagan, an analyst with the American Enterprise Institute.

Administration officials said Trump has begun a process of reviewing current USA policy and is "considering a whole range of options", including tougher sanctions.

Earlier, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday refused to confirm whether his country recently conducted a missile test, saying the Iranian missile program is not part of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Trump has also criticised as wak the Obama administration's deal with Iran to lift others sanctions in return for the scaling down of Tehran's nuclear programme.

The row comes against a backdrop of already-strained relations over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on citizens from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries.

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