US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said on 1 February that the United States is "officially putting Iran on notice" in the wake of a ballistic missile test and an attack on a Saudi frigate off Yemen.
Speaking to journalists at the White House, Flynn said the ballistic missile test was carried out in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology".
He added that the attack on the Saudi frigate on 31 January was "the latest of a series of incidents in the past six months in which Houthi forces that Iran has trained and armed have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels and threatened United States and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea".
He said that Iran had been emboldened by the agreement that the international community reached with Iran in July 2014 to limit its nuclear programme. "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," he said, without providing details of what this means.
In a background briefing, US officials told journalists that the administration was considering a range of options.
Iranian defence minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan confirmed earlier on 1 February reports that his country had recently carried out a ballistic missile test.
"The recent test was in line with our programmes and we will not allow any outsider to interfere in our defence affairs," the Tasnim news agency quoted him as telling reporters in Tehran. "The test did not violate the nuclear deal or the Resolution 2231." Dehghan did not say what type of missile had been tested.
Reports of the test emerged on 30 January, with Fox News citing US officials as saying it involved a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) that flew 600 miles (966 km) before exploding in a failed test of a re-entry vehicle.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options: ihs.com/contact