July 28, 2017 / 4:53 PM / in 4 months

Iran denies rocket test violates U.N. resolution

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran denied on Friday U.S. accusations that its test of a rocket that can put satellites into orbit violated a U.N resolution and said Washington’s “rhetoric” was a sign of bad faith towards Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes part in a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Thursday that Iran’s test violated a U.N. resolution which endorsed the 2015 deal and calls upon Tehran not to conduct activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Friday denied Tehran had missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.

“Iran is not, and will not be, developing nuclear weapons; so by definition cannot develop anything DESIGNED to be capable of delivering them,” Zarif said on Twitter.

“Iran - unlike the U.S. - has complied in good faith with the letter AND spirit of (the nuclear deal). Rhetoric and actions from U.S. show bad faith,” Zarif added.

Iran said it successfully tested the Simorgh (Phoenix) rocket which it said could put a satellite weighing up to 250 kg (550 pounds) in an orbit of 500 km (311 miles).

“The U.S. government should abandon its continued hostile behavior and policies that show lack of faith towards the (nuclear deal),” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

The U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously on Thursday to impose new sanctions on Russia, and crack down on Iran and North Korea for activities including their missile development programs.

The measure also imposes restrictions on anyone involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and those who do business with them. The sanctions also apply to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps security force.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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