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U.S. suggests Iran ballistic missile test might be U.N. violation

WASHINGTON -- There are "strong indications" that Iran violated U.N. Security Council resolutions related to ballistic missiles when it test fired a new missile, the White House said Tuesday .

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that when it comes to Iran's ballistic missile program, "unfortunately, that's not new."

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"We have seen Iran almost serially violate the international community's concerns about their ballistic missile program," Earnest said.

He stressed, however, that those violations are "entirely separate" from the historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers.

"In contrast to the repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council resolution that pertains to their ballistic missile activities, we've seen that Iran over the last couple of years has demonstrated a track record of abiding by the commitments that they made in the context of the nuclear talks," Earnest said.

At the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner added that the U.S. intended to raise the incident at the U.N., "and then we'll continue to do this for any and all Iranian violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions." He called the missile test "deeply concerning."

Iranian state TV reported on Sunday that the Iranians successfully test fired a new guided long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile.

Iran's Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan, told the channel 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."

Dehghan said this is "the country' first long-range missile with navigation and strike controlling capability."

The channel showed footage of the huge missile being launched in a desert area, but it did not elaborate on the range of the missile or the specifics of the test firing.

Since 1992, Iran has emphasized a self-sufficient and indigenous military production industry, producing missiles, tanks and light submarines. The government frequently announces military advances which cannot independently verified.

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.

It was the first such test since Iran and world powers agreed to the nuclear deal. The agreement, which Iran's parliament voted to implement Tuesday, called on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran says none of its missiles is designed for that purpose.