11:18 GMT07 May 2021
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    The United States promises to protect its NATO allies from the threat of Iranian ballistic missile as long as Tehran continues to develop such capabilities, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said on Thursday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, Iran successfully conducted its latest medium-range ballistic missile test. In March, Iran held nationwide missile exercises, during which the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Forces test-fired two types of ballistic missiles, both of which successfully hit their targets. Iran's recent progress in developing its missile capability has raised concerns in Washington.

    "As long as Iran continues to develop and deploy ballistic missiles, the United States will work with its allies to defend NATO," Work said in a press statement at the opening of NATO's ballistic missile defense site in Romania.

    Iran's target of boosting its national defense program has sparked concerns among the international community, despite reassurances from Tehran that it would never threaten the national security of another state.

    On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries comprising Russia, the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which guarantees the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

    Following the adoption of the JCPOA, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran from engaging in activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.


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