UK, US and allies press for UN response to Iran missile tests

Britain, United States, Germany and France have sent a joint letter of complaint to the United Nations’ (UN) Security Council over recent Iranian ballistic missile tests, in defiance of Security Council resolutions and have called for a discussion over the issue.

Earlier this month, Iranian state television showed images of missiles, which the report claimed was medium-range Qiam-1 missiles, being fired from a variety of underground locations. Later images showed that the missiles were marked with the words “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew. The tests are the third ballistic missile tests Iran has conducted since signing a long-term nuclear agreement with the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) in July. Related nuclear sanctions on Iran were lifted in January.

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 using ballistic missile technology. It is also a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, passed the day after July’s accord was signed, which compels Iran to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles for eight years.

Both Reuters and AP report that a joint letter from Britain, United States, Germany and France to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that Iran has been testing missiles “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and as such the tests are “inconsistent with” and “in defiance of” resolution 2231. The letter asks the UN Security Council to discuss “appropriate responses” to the tests and to report back.

In January, the United States imposed new sanctions on eleven Iranian individuals and businesses linked to missile tests in October. On Thursday, the US Treasury Department blacklisted two Iranian companies for financing the missile programme.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon commented yesterday that “There must be consequences” to the missile tests, adding “Iran’s true intentions have been revealed, despite their attempts to hide behind a cloak of smiles.”

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