US official: Iran fires defensive missile

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IRAN — A US official tells CNN that Iran fired a defensive surface-to-air missile (SAM) on Wednesday.

The missile was launched from the same pad that Iran used to conduct its failed medium-range missile test earlier this month.

After the initial test, national security adviser Michael Flynn declared that the US was putting Tehran “on notice,” while US President Donald Trump tweeted Iran was “playing with fire.”

Wednesday’s test, however, was not covered by the UN Security Council resolution that addresses Iran’s ballistic missiles. The official said that the SAM firing was likely connected to Iran’s 10-day commemoration of the 1979 revolution.

“We watch Iranian military developments carefully,” the official said.

New sanctions for Iran

Tensions between the US and Iran have been ramping up in the first few weeks of the President Trump presidency.

On February 3, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on the country, accusing Tehran of defying the UN Security Council resolution which bars it from taking steps on a ballistic missile program capable of launching nuclear weapons.

The new sanctions targeted 25 individuals and companies associated with Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Iran said the US sanctions were “contrary to the obligations of the United States,” according to the country’s official news agency IRNA, which cited the foreign ministry.

Iran’s missile program is purely for “defensive purposes,” the foreign ministry said.

President Trump and his administration have been longtime critics of former US President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, saying prior to his election that he would “renegotiate” it.

Last week, Flynn said the international community had been “too tolerant of Iran’s bad behavior.”

“The days of turning a blind eye to Iran’s hostile and belligerent actions towards the United States and the world community are over,” he said.

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