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Iran defies Trump admin's 'empty threat,' pledges more missile tests

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The Iranian government vowed to "vigorously" continue its missile activity one day after President Donald Trump's national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, put the country "on notice."

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior foreign affairs adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, slammed the White House Thursday for its "inexperienced" response to Iran's unsuccessful medium-range ballistic missile test, according to NBC News.

"This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran," Velayati said. "Iran is the strongest power in the region and has a lot of political, economic and military power. ... America should be careful about making empty threats to Iran."

"Iran will continue to test its capabilities in ballistic missiles and Iran will not ask any country for permission in defending itself," he added.

Trump, following up on Flynn's Wednesday statements, doubled down on Iran Thursday morning in a tweet, asserting that the Middle Eastern country "has been formally PUT ON NOTICE."

As TheBlaze previously reported, Flynn, a retired Army general and the former leader of the Defense Intelligence Agency, delivered an unexpected statement on the matter Wednesday during the White House press briefing.

"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," Flynn told reporters, referring to Iran's missile test and the Houthi attack on a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen Monday, Reuters reported.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Houthis are an Iranian-backed rebel force believed to be working with Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president of Yemen who was overthrown as a result of the Arab Spring in 2012.

Under previous United Nations resolutions, Iran was barred from missile launch tests. However, those rules were eclipsed by a resolution passed alongside the Obama-era Iran deal.

The new resolution only "called upon" Iran not to test-fire missiles, but didn't outright block the country from conducting such operations. Critics, according to NBC, have taken issue with the wording, arguing it creates a loophole because it can be interpreted to suggest Iran is not obligated to comply with missile restrictions.

"The missiles aren't part of the nuclear accords," Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who would not confirm or deny the missile launch, said during a Tuesday presser, according to Reuters. "Iran will never use missiles produced in Iran to attack any other country."

In addition, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has insisted that the test "was not a violation of a nuclear deal with world powers or any UN resolution."

Trump, on the same day newly-minted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson entered Foggy Bottom, blasted the Iran nuclear deal, saying the nation was "on its last legs and ready to collapse" prior to the controversial agreement struck by former President Barack Obama.

One last thing…
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