Over a week removed from their single test of a ballistic missile, and following days of ever-escalating US threats that ensued, the Iranian government today insists that the test was nothing to do with President Trump, nor an attempt to send any sort of message to his administration.
Iran has conducted such tests a few times a year, usually with a token response from the US complaining about them. Trump has been hyping his anti-Iran position ever since, however, insisting they are “playing with fire” and that he won’t take military force off the table.
Iranian officials insist they are not particularly surprised by Trump’s response, and said there would’ve been no reason to “test” Trump with such a missile launch, because his views are quite well known. Iran insists the missile tests are legal, because they are not nuclear-related, and are for purely defensive purposes. The ban cited by US officials indeed only covers missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads, which Iran doesn’t have.
Iran’s Deputy Chief of Staff Hamid Aboutalebi issued a statement on Twitter urging the Trump Administration to de-escalate regional tensions in the Middle East instead of adding to them, saying the US should be willing to “interact with Iran” rather than constantly challenging them.