White House: Iranian Ballistic Missile Test Not a Deal Killer
The White House says that an Iranian ballistic missile test would not invalidate a recently signed nuclear accord meant to temporarily halt some of Iran’s most controversial nuclear work.
The White House clarified its stance just days before Iran is scheduled to launch another ballistic missile some 75 miles into the atmosphere.
The statement contradicts recent remarks indicating that such a test would in fact violate and nullify the weeks-old agreement, which provides Iran with some $7 billion in relief from economic sanctions in exchange for a partial six-month freeze of its uranium enrichment program.
A White House National Security Council (NSC) spokeswoman told PolitiFact on Friday that an Iranian missiles test in the next six months would in fact “be in violation of the agreement” and that “the agreement would cease to exist.”
Asked on Wednesday morning to clarify that statement in light of Iran’s intent to launch a rocket next week, a White House official said that PolitiFact got it wrong.
“That statement on ballistic missiles is incorrect,” the official told the Washington Free Beacon via email. “We have reached out to PolitiFact to correct.”
PolitiFact staff writer Steve Contorno did not immediately have comment on the controversy when contacted Wednesday afternoon by the Free Beacon.
Nearly five hours after the Free Beacon contacted the White House and PolitiFact about the issue, a correction was appended to Contorno’s original article.
“This story has been changed to reflect a misstatement by the U.S. National Security Council on whether a missile test by Iran would ‘be in violation of the agreement (with Iran). The agreement would cease to exist,’” the correction states. “After the story was published, the National Security Council asked PolitiFact to correct the record that they had meant that Iran would be forbidden from testing a nuclear warhead.”
The White House confirmed that a ballistic missile test would not invalidate the deal.
“The prohibition would not include testing of a conventional ballistic missile,” according to the correction.
Iran announced late Tuesday that it intends to launch another “research” rocket into space by the end of next week, according to Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency....