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Iran launches ballistic missile test, violating UN resolutions

A US official confirmed reports yesterday that Iran launched a medium-range ballistic missile test over the weekend, and that the US has requested emergency consultations at the UN Security Council on the issue today, since the test has breached Security Council resolutions.

According to Reuters, an anonymous US official provided details of the launch, saying that it was carried out from a site near Semnan, east of Tehran. Apparently, the Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a re-entry vehicle.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said yesterday: “We’re aware that Iran fired that missile. We’re looking into the exact nature of it, and I’ll try to have more for you later.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the missile test, calling it “a blatant violation of the Security Council’s decision. I will be meeting with President Trump in Washington soon. I will bring up the need for renewing the sanction against Iran, sanctions against ballistic missiles and sanctions against terrorism.”

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Trump at the White House on 15 February.

Iran has conducted several ballistic missile tests since signing a long-term nuclear agreement with the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) in July 2015. Related nuclear sanctions on Iran were lifted a year ago.

Such tests are a breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, passed in 2010, which bans Iran from any ballistic missile development capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches which use ballistic missile technology.

They are also a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, passed the day after the nuclear accord was signed, which compels Iran to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles for eight years.

The US mission at the UN released a statement saying: “In light of Iran’s January 29 launch of a medium-range ballistic missile, the United States has requested urgent consultations of the Security Council.”

A Security Council discussion on the issue is set for later today.