US says Iran missile test may have broken UN rules

This undated picture released on October 11, 2015 by the Iranian Defence Ministry reportedly shows the launch of an Imad missile during tests at an undisclosed location in Iran (AFP Photo/) (Iranian Defence Ministry/AFP/File)

Washington (AFP) - The White House said Tuesday that Iran likely breached a UN Security Council resolution when it tested a long-range ballistic missile, raising the prospect of recriminations.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there were "strong indications" that Tehran "did violate UN Security Council resolutions that pertain to Iran's ballistic missile activities."

Iran announced Sunday it had successfully tested a new domestically produced long-range missile, which it said was the first that could be guided all the way to targets.

A State Department spokesman said the issue would be raised at the United Nations, as US President Barack Obama's administration indicated that efforts to prohibit progress on Iran's missile programs would be increased.

"The UN Security Council resolution actually gives the international community some tools to interdict some equipment and material that could be used to advance their ballistic missile program," said Earnest.

This, he said "gives us the ability to work in concert with our partners around the world to engage a strategy to try to disrupt continued progress of their ballistic missile program."

Separately, a State Department official said the test appeared to have breached UN Security Council resolution 1929, which does not foresee automatic sanctions.

"It does, however, establish a UN panel of experts to investigate reported violations and directs the Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee to respond effectively to violations," the State Department said.

The White House insisted the launch would have no impact on a recent landmark nuclear deal.

"This is altogether separate from the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the rest of the world," Earnest said.