Iran Seeks To Expand Missile Range

Frederick Owens
December 6, 2018

Zarif recalled that the USA re-imposing of unilateral sanctions against Iran was already a violation of Security Council Resolution 22-31. The deal was meant to ensure that Iran would not attempt to secretly develop nuclear weapons, an ambition that the country always denied having.

"There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting the missile programme and missile tests by Iran", IRNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. The comparatively weak language has led to some differences of interpretation, and these were highlighted on Tuesday when the Security Council held a closed-door meeting at the request of the French and British governments, both of which have previously expressed concern over the Iranian ballistic missile program and the regime's destabilizing influence over the broader region. The wording does not explicitly forbid missile activity, effectively opening a loophole for test firing to continue should Tehran, which insists its missile programme is for defensive purposes only, so wish. It urged Iran to stop all testing of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The missile, according to the statement from Pompeo, had the capability of carrying multiple warheads and "has a range that allows it to strike parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East".

Qassemi addressed all the countries that have closed their eyes to the realities and the transparent and stabilizing policies of Iran by raising these wild assumptions and groundless excuses, and urged them not to sacrifice regional and global peace, stability, and security for the goals of others who think Iran's constructive relations with regional and world countries are against their unilateralist policies and excessive demands.

"Also, neither the United Kingdom nor France presented any evidence of this during UN Security Council consultations on the issue", he said. But the separate continued development of Iran's missile programme is risky and provocative. "But we also believe, and our information is that the sorts of missiles she test-launched on December 1 go way beyond legitimate defensive needs".

Iran's U.N. Mission said in a press release Tuesday that "all ballistic missile related activities of Iran are in full conformity" with the 2015 Security Council resolution and said that "it is the USA that is in absolute violation of the very same resolution" for "its unlawful withdrawal" from the nuclear deal.

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It does not, in fact, ban Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles, a point of criticism for opponents of the deal.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the test "provocative, threatening and inconsistent" with the United Nations resolution.

The test was conducted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Saturday, just two days after Hook's exhibition at joint base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC.

The 2015 United Nations resolution also enshrines the nuclear deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump quit in May. It's all coming from Iran.

"Furthermore, this ballistic missile activity is destabilising and increases regional tensions", it added.

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