Iran Highlights US Hypocrisy, says ‘US is not in a position to criticize missile tests’

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TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s foreign minister responded to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s warning that Iran would face severe economic and diplomatic consequences if it moved ahead with plans to carry out further ballistic missile tests.

Iranian plans to launch spacecraft and continue missile tests do not violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and are endorsed by the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan on Iran’s nuclear program, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted.

According to the Foreign Minister, Washington would be the “in violation” side of the Security Council resolution and as such “was not in a position to give lessons to anyone.”

Zarif also recalled that Security Council Resolution 1929, which introduced sanctions against Iran in 2010, was “dead”, and UNSCR resolution 2231 restricts Iran from testing missiles “designed to carry nuclear weapons”, but does not prohibit missile tests.

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Earlier on Thursday, Mike Pompeo warned Tehran should not get involved in provocative launches and called on the country to stop all ballistic missile-related activities to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation.

The US secretary of state accused Iran of challenging UNSCR resolution 2231 and said the launches have a destabilizing effect in the Middle East and other regions.

Meanwhile, Iran’s health minister has resigned due to budget cuts amid an economic crisis triggered by the re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran.

The Iranian news agency said on Thursday that President Hassan Rouhani has accepted the resignation of Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, widely seen as the main authority behind the launch in 2014 of an ambitious universal health insurance plan.

Hashemi repeatedly complained of budget delays and cuts in onlays created by the new state spending plans.

US President Donald Trump has reintroduced sanctions on Iran last year, particularly targeting the oil sector – vital to the country’s economy. Trump also took Washington out of the nuclear deal with Iran.

The move knocked down the value of Iran’s currency and quadrupled annual inflation to nearly 40 percent in November.

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