USA urges United Nations to condemn Iran missile test

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he called Iran's testing of a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the 2015 worldwide agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, from which Washington has withdrawn.

UN Security Council resolution 2231 enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, in which Tehran curbed its disputed uranium-enrichment program in exchange for an end to global sanctions.

Speaking after the meeting, Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the United Nations, said the December 1 missile test was inconsistent with the resolution and went "way beyond legitimate defensive needs".

The language of the United Nations resolution "calls on" rather than "forbids" Iran from testing its missiles, according to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.

Nikki Haley, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, insisted it had been conducted by Tehran "in defiance" of resolution 2231, describing the test as "dangerous and concerning, but not surprising".

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"In Iran's transparent missile and defence policies ... there is no design and plan for having missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and there won't be any in the future", Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by the ministry's press service.

The alleged test comes amid heightened U.S. pressure on Iran, as well as repeated attempts by United States officials to persuade its European allies to stop doing business with Tehran in line with renewed USA sanctions on the country, which came into force on 4 November.

European leaders are troubled by Trump's rhetoric and say that his decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal undermine European priorities.

"If the Security Council is serious about holding Iran accountable and enforcing our resolutions, then at a minimum we should be able to deliver a unanimous condemnation of this provocative missile test", said Ambassador Haley. Yet the European leadership has been wary of taking such steps, nonetheless.

On Tuesday, France and Britain asked for a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss Iran's violation.

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According to Hadashot news, in a report shortly before the meeting, Netanyahu was planning to tell Pompeo to convey a warning to Beirut that Israel would take action if Lebanon does not work to keep Hezbollah from arming itself. Three months earlier, authorities in Albania disrupted a plot to attack members of the NCRI's main constituent group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran. Was the assassination attempt in Denmark defensive?

"Missile tests and the overall defensive capability of the Islamic Republic are for defense [purposes] and in line with our country's deterrence [policy]..."

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

Tehran has made no secret of its vigorous pursuit of a greater regional presence, and Saturday's missile launch is arguably emblematic of this effort.

It does not prohibit or limit the legitimate conventional ballistic missile program and other related activities of Iran. The US is bolstering its military presence in the region, which is already one of the most guarded in the world. We will continue to both test and develop missiles", Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said, adding, "This issue is outside the framework of any negotiations and is part of our national security.

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