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Iran threatens to increase its missile range - despite US pushback

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

In a foreign policy speech to the German Marshall Fund in Brussels on December 4 ahead of a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers, Pompeo said recent moves by the three countries have caused instability in the world.

Their comments came in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claims that Iran's missile development work was in violation of the terms included in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. The Trump White House officially withdrew from the pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May. Mr Pompeo also attacked America's "European friends" for accusing the U.S. of undermining global order and blamed Iran and China in his speech.

"We had a functioning deal and you may not have agreed with all the contents of it but it actually contained this conflict", he said.

The speech drew polite applause from the audience in Brussels but also sharp criticism from some quarters. Trump has threatened to withdraw from the treaty and deploy US missiles in Europe in response. "The United States has effectively used multilateralism to build a freer, fairer, more stable world order". The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are - the more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done"The central question that we face is the question of whether the system as now configured, as it exists today, and as the world exists today, does it work?"

"Rouhani's slander which calls for the destruction of Israel proves again why the nations of the world need to join the sanctions against the Iranian terrorist regime which threatens them". Yet, they also neither confirmed, nor denied the test.

"U.S. [is] proliferating advanced weapons to extremists [including] Al Qaeda & ISIS [Islamic State]", Mr. Zarif tweeted, referring to a British newspaper report that said many arms supplied by Britain and the United States had ended up in the hands of militias fighting in the Yemen war. Pompeo said it's our mission to reassert sovereignty and help our friends assert their sovereignty as well. "When treaties are broken, the violators must be confronted, and the treaties must be fixed or discarded".

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The missile has the ability to hit parts of Europe and any location in the Middle East, the secretary said.

"We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent and free world of sovereign states", Pompeo said, adding that China's ability to benefit from the current USA -led system of trade and other agreements was an example of "the poisoned fruit of American retreat". And, he argued that Trump is forging change necessary to preserve the liberal order.

"The first two years of the Trump administration demonstrated that President Trump is not undermining these institutions, nor is he abandoning American leadership".

Pompeo said the United States was acting correctly.

Pompeo said Trump was reforming the liberal order, not destroying it.

The US president has continually accused European NATO members of failing to spend enough on their own defence, instead over-relying on Washington.

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