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2018-12-05

US urges UN to condemn Iran missile test

The US on Tuesday (December 4th) urged the UN Security Council to condemn Iran for carrying out a ballistic missile test, describing the launch as dangerous and a violation of a UN resolution, AFP reported.

The council met behind closed doors at the request of France and Britain which, along with the US, have accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range ballistic missile on Saturday.

France and Britain maintain that missile launches are inconsistent with the UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, while the US has taken a harder stance and views them as an outright violation.

"Iran's recent ballistic missile test was dangerous and concerning, but not surprising," US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement. "The international community cannot keep turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions."

The UN resolution calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, but does not specifically bar Tehran from missile launches.

Following the meeting, French Ambassador François Delattre said there was "widely-shared concern" at the council about the missile test and renewed France's call to Iran to halt all activities related to its missile programme.

British Ambassador Karen Pierce stressed that the types of missiles launched on December 1st "go way beyond legitimate defensive needs" and point to Iran's destabilising behaviour in the region.

"If you wanted to demonstrate to the international community that you were a responsible member of it and genuinely interested in regional peace and security, these are not the types of missiles you would be test-launching," she said.

The meeting ended with no joint statement or any plan for follow-up action, but the council is scheduled to take stock of the implementation of the resolution on December 19th.

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