US to bring up Iran’s missile launches at UN

US to bring up Iran’s ‘dangerous’ missile tests during UN Security Council consultations

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A ballistic missile is launched and tested at an undisclosed location, Iran, in this handout photo released by Farsnews on March 9, 2016.

The United States will raise during UN Security Council consultations next week the issue of Iran's recent ballistic missile launches and is urging countries to cooperate on undermining Tehran's missile program, the US envoy to the United Nations said on Friday.

"We will raise these dangerous launches directly at Council consultations, which we have called for, on Monday," US Ambassador Samantha Power said in a statement. "These launches underscore the need to work with partners around the world to slow and degrade Iran's missile program."

A series of ballistic missile tests this week conducted by Iran's Revolutionary Guard units drew international concern. The United States, France and other countries said that if confirmed, the new launches of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles would violate UN Security Council resolution 2231.

Power said Iran's missile launches were "provocative and destabilising."

"Moreover, Iranian military leaders have reportedly claimed these missiles are designed to be a direct threat to Israel," she said. "We condemn such threats against another UN member state and one of our closest allies."

Power added that Washington would continue to demand "full implementation of resolution 2231, which expressly prohibits third-party support to Iran's ballistic missile program, as we also consider our appropriate national response."

The closed-door consultations on Iran will take place Monday morning. The 15-nation Security Council is scheduled to hold separate consultations on Syria at 10 am ET (1500 GMT).

The United States has said Iran's missile tests do not violate the terms of an historic nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers, which resolution 2231, adopted in July 2015, endorsed. The UN missile restrictions and an arms embargo on Iran are not technically part of the nuclear agreement.

Council diplomats say they will first await confirmation from national intelligence agencies about whether the missiles Iran has fired were nuclear-capable. They also say that Russia and China, which had opposed continuing UN restrictions on Iran's missile program, would likely block council action.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the tests were not in violation of the nuclear agreement, which led to lifting of sanctions in January.

TRTWorld, Reuters