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U.S.: Iran missile test "clear violation" of U.N. sanctions

A new Iranian precision-guided ballistic missile is launched as it is tested at an undisclosed location Oct. 10, 2015.

farsnews.com/Handout via Reuters

UNITED NATIONS -- Iran's recent ballistic missile test was "a clear violation" of U.N. sanctions, and the United States will seek action from the Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said Friday.

Power said that after reviewing available information, the United States has confirmed that the medium-range ballistic missile launched on Oct. 10 was "inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon." She said this violated a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted on June 9, 2010, which imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran.

It was Iran's first missile test since the historic nuclear deal reached July 14 between Iran and world powers. While condemning the ballistic missile test, the Obama administration made clear that it is "entirely separate" from the nuclear deal, which is aimed at preventing Iran from developing atomic weapons.

The 2010 U.N. resolution bans Iran from undertaking "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology."

Power said the United States is preparing a report to the Security Council committee that monitors sanctions against Iran. She did not specify what action the U.S. would seek.

"The Security Council prohibition on Iran's ballistic missile activities, as well as the arms embargo, remain in place and we will continue to press the Security Council for an appropriate response to Iran's disregard for its international obligations," she said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

Shortly after the launch, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Iran likely violated U.N. sanctions. But he stressed that Iran has abided by its commitments made during the nuclear talks that led to the historic deal.

Iran's U.N. mission did not have an immediate comment Friday. Previously, Iran has said none of its missiles are designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Iran's Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan told state television after the launch that the liquid-fuel missile "will obviously boost the strategic deterrence capability of our armed forces." He said the missile, named Emad or pillar in Farsi, was a technological achievement for Iran - able to be controlled until the moment of impact and to hit targets "with high precision."

Since 1992, Iran has emphasized a self-sufficient military production industry, producing missiles, tanks and light submarines.

The Islamic Republic already claims to have surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 1,250 miles that can hit Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.