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EU warns Iran not to 'deepen mistrust' with missile tests
[BRUSSELS] The EU on Tuesday warned Iran against stoking mistrust by continuing ballistic missile tests, after Tehran told the new US administration not to use the issue as a pretext to create fresh tensions.
"The EU reiterates its concern about Iran's missile programme and calls upon Iran to refrain from activities which deepen mistrust, such as ballistic missile tests," said Nabila Massrali, an EU foreign affairs spokeswoman.
The UN Security Council is due to hold emergency talks at Washington's request later Tuesday on Iran's recent test-firing of a medium-range missile - which Tehran has not confirmed.
The European Union helped broker a landmark accord between the West and Iran under which Tehran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of western economic sanctions.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the nuclear accord, threatening to reverse it or find other ways of sanctioning Iran.
Separate UN, US and EU sanctions imposed against Iran over its ballistic missile programme remain in force.
The EU spokeswoman noted that since Iran's ballistic missile effort was not included in the nuclear accord, "the tests are not a violation". Additionally, it was up to the Security Council to determine if the latest test was a violation of UN resolutions on Iran's missile programme, she said.
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier Tuesday said Mr Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had "repeatedly confirmed" that the missile programme was not part of the nuclear deal.
Tehran says its missiles do not breach UN resolutions because they are for defence purposes only and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.