A team of sanctions monitors said on Tuesday that an Iranian missile tested in October was capable of delivering a nuclear warhead and violated a UN Security Council resolution.
A statement from the United States supported the UN report.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday that the United States does not oppose additional sanctions on Iran if national security officials determine that additional sanctions are necessary in countering Iran’s missile program and added:
“The probably the most important thing however that can be done is for other countries to respond to the call that the United States has repeatedly made to more intensively focus our efforts on countering Iran's ballistic missile program."
A UN Security Council panel of experts said they found some indications that the Iranian missile was able to carry nuclear warheads, noting that missiles tested between 2012 and 2013 also violated the UN’s ban.
"On the basis of its analysis and findings the Panel concludes that Emad launch is a violation by Iran of paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929," the expers stated.
Iran also reportedly violated the UN resolution by attempting to produce titanium alloy bars in early 2015, Iran sanctions committee chairman Ambassador Roman Oyarzun said.
However, Reuters has reported that diplomats have said Iran’s October rocket test didn't technically violate the June 14 nuclear deal between Iran, the Security Council and Germany and a new wave of sanctions would likely be opposed by Russia and China even if European nations agree on such a measure.
Iran, which claims its nuclear programme has always been peaceful, said that any new sanctions would put its nuclear deal with the six world powers in jeopardy and denied that the missile was capable of delivering a warhead.
A second missile reported to have been tested by Iran was not mentioned in the UN report.
UN nuclear agency decides to close Iran nuclear weapons probe
On Tuesday, UN’s nuclear watchdog board announced they would close its investigation on Iran nuclear weapons due to the landmark deal reached between Iran and six world powers in July and as a move normalizing six world power’s relations with Iran.
— IAEA (@iaeaorg) December 15, 2015
Iran welcomed the decision to close the 12-year long probe after the draft resolution was passed unopposed.
"The decision by the Board of Governors today ... will open a new chapter for cooperation between Iran and the agency," Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Reza Najafi told reporters.
Najafi also stated that Iran aims to implement "voluntary" nuclear restrictions agreed on as part of the June 14 deal.
The IAEA was allowed to investigate nuclear sites in Iran after Iran and the six world powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - agreed on the principle of granting access to military sites within scope of the July 14 nuclear deal.
"Iran will become an agenda at the IAEA Board which we hope focuses on its compliance with the Iran Deal – allowing it to move away from consideration alongside the Syrian and DPRK [North Korean] programmes, which it has historically been bracketed with," said one Western diplomat who argues that the IAEA’s inspection and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear sites wouldn’t give time Tehran to build an atom bomb even it wants to do so.
The decision was also welcomed by US Secretary of State John Kerry who said the recent development would allow Iran to focus on the implementation of the nuclear deal.
"Today’s resolution makes clear that the IAEA’s Board of Governors will be watching closely to verify that Iran fully implements its commitments under the JCPOA," Kerry said.
However, some others say Iran’s past actions are reason enough to not close the investigation.