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UN Security Council Meets over Iran Ballistic Missile Tests

UN Security Council Meets over Iran Ballistic Missile Tests

Tuesday, 4 December, 2018 - 19:00
The UN Security Council meets to address Iran's ballistic missile launches. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The United Nations Security Council met on Tuesday to address Iran’s ballistic missile tests as the United States urged it to condemn the launch.

The meeting was held at the request of three Western powers involved in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal who say Tehran's ballistic missile launches are "inconsistent" with the council resolution that endorsed the agreement.

France, Germany and Britain sent a letter to council, which was circulated Tuesday, saying Iran's launches of Zolfaqar and Qiam short-range ballistic missiles on September 30 and October 1 "are inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons."

A provision in the 2015 Security Council resolution calls on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons."

Iran also carried out another test last week that was strongly condemned by Washington.

"Iran's recent ballistic missile test was dangerous and concerning, but not surprising," US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

"The international community cannot keep turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions.

"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," she said.

Iran has neither denied nor confirmed the launch that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said involved a missile of a medium range, capable of carrying multiple warheads and striking parts of Europe and the entire Middle East.

Following the meeting, French Ambassador Francois Delattre said there was "widely-shared concern" at the council about the missile test and renewed France's call to Iran to halt all activities related to its missile program.

British Ambassador Karen Pierce stressed that the types of missiles launched on December 1 "go way beyond legitimate defensive needs" and point to Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region.

"If you wanted to demonstrate to the international community that you were a responsible member of it and genuinely interested in regional peace and security, these are not the types of missiles you would be test-launching," said Pierce.

The meeting ended with no joint statement or any plan for follow-up action, but the council is scheduled to take stock of the implementation of the resolution on December 19.

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