EU Defies US, Sets Up New Iran Payment Channel

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Iran announced the "successful test" of a new cruise missile with a range of over 1,350 kilometres on Saturday, coinciding with celebrations for the country's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Hatami said the surface-to-surface missile, named Hoveizeh, was from the Soumar family of cruise missiles, which were unveiled in 2015.

Hoveizeh, Iran's new cruise missile is exposed during an exhibition in the capital Tehran on February 2, 2019.

Iranian officials say Western sanctions have starved its air force of spare parts and replacement aircraft, limiting its operational capacity and forcing it to rely on the missile program.

The Defense Ministry's website carried an undated video purportedly showing the Hoveizeh being test-fired from a mobile launcher.

Iran carried out a failed attempt to launch a satellite into space on January 15, defying a warning from Trump.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 adopted after the deal calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, but it does not specifically bar Tehran from missile launches. "The Council calls on Iran to take all the necessary measures to fully respect all relevant UN Security Council resolutions related to the transfer of missiles and relevant material and technology to state and non-state actors in the region", the document noted.

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But Tehran denies seeking any nuclear weapons capability, and insists that its missile development programme is "purely defensive" and compliant with the resolution.

Iran's top judge said on Monday that Tehran would never accept the "humiliating conditions" set by the European Union for non-dollar trade meant to evade US sanctions, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

In the short term, the countries have said that the INSTEX channel will be used for humanitarian trade to sell only food, medicine and medical equipment to Iran with a possibility of expanded trade in the future.

Ali Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Fars, a semiofficial news agency, that Iran could produce more 20 percent uranium on a four-day notice.

Defying threats from Washington, the UK, France and Germany have executed their plan to set up a special-payments mechanism with Iran and skirt US sanctions.

According to Larijani, the European Union wants Iran to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - an intergovernmental body established in 1989 to counter terrorism financing, money laundering and other threats to the global financial system.

Salami said Iran's decision to limit the range and the number of its ballistic missiles was based on its current strategy, which could change based on circumstances.

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