PARIS (Reuters) - Iran's test of a ballistic missile earlier this week was a clear violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution and sends "a worrying message", French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said on Thursday.
Iran tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile on Sunday in defiance of a United Nations ban, signaling an apparent advance in Iranian attempts to improve the accuracy of its missile arsenal.
"The Oct. 11 launch constitutes a clear violation of this resolution (1929). It is a worrying message from Iran to the international community," Nadal told reporters in a daily briefing.
Ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under Security Council resolution 1929, which dates from 2010 and remains valid until a nuclear deal dating from July 14 this year goes into effect.
Once the deal takes effect, Iran will still be "called upon" not to undertake any work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for a period of up to eight years, according to a Security Council resolution adopted in July.
That resolution also says that once the deal is in effect countries will be allowed to transfer missile technology and heavy weapons to Iran on a case-by-case basis with council approval.
However, at the time the resolution was drafted, a U.S. official called this provision meaningless and said the United States would veto any suggested transfer of ballistic missile technology to Iran.
"Resolution 1929 will stay in place until confirmation by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), which should give its opinion at the start of 2016, on the implementation of Iran's nuclear commitments," Nadal said.
France took one of the hardest lines of the six powers negotiating the nuclear agreement with Iran.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Leigh Thomas and James Regan)