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US Urges UN to Toughen Iran’s Restrictions on Missile Testing

NEW YORK – The United States on Thursday accused Iran of carrying out three missile launches in defiance of UN resolutions and urged the Security Council to “bring back tougher international restrictions” against Tehran, AFP reported Friday.
In a letter to the council by AFP, US acting ambassador Jonathan Cohen warned that Iran’s activities destabilized the entire Middle East and could trigger an arms race.
Cohen spoke of the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile on December 1 and Iran’s attempts to place satellites into orbit on January 15 and February 5, using space launchers.
“Iran has carried out these three launches in defiance of the will expressed by the UN Security Council, and such provocations continue to destabilize the entire region of the Middle East,” the letter said.
The United States called on the council to join us in imposing real consequences on Iran if it flagrantly defies its demands and in the introduction of stricter international restrictions to deter Iran’s missile program.
The United States did not request an immediate meeting of the Council to discuss Iran and no further action was announced in the letter.
UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted just after the 2015 nuclear agreement, calls on Iran to not carry out any ballistic missile activity designed to be able to provide nuclear weapons.
Tehran insists that its missile development program is defensive and in line with the resolution, but the United States has repeatedly challenged that position.
In the letter, the interim ambassador stated that the December 1 launch was “designed to be able to provide nuclear weapons” and that space launchers use “virtually identical and interchangeable” technologies with those used by ballistic missiles.
“Iran’s satellite launches on January 15 and February 5 are activities using ballistic missile technologies designed to be able to provide nuclear weapons,” wrote Cohen.
“The prospect of rapid escalation in the region is real and more and more likely if we fail to restore deterrence,” he added.
Iran has limited most of its nuclear program as part of the historic agreement with the major powers, but has continued to develop its ballistic missile technology.
US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal in May and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, citing concerns about missile development.
At a meeting of the Council in December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for tougher restrictions on Iran to curb its missile program, but Russia categorically said there was no evidence that Iranian missiles could carry a nuclear charge.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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