US to Raise Iran’s Missile Tests at UN

US to Raise Iran’s Missile Tests at UNUS to Raise Iran’s Missile Tests at UN

The United States will raise during UN Security Council consultations today 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, Reuters reported.

"These launches underscore the need to work with partners around the world to slow and degrade Iran's missile program."

Power claimed Iran's missile launches were "provocative and destabilizing."

She 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 United States has said Iran's missile tests do not violate the terms of a historic nuclear deal between Tehran and 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. The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the tests were not in violation of the nuclear agreement, which led to the lifting of sanctions in January.

Western diplomats say resolution 2231, which "calls upon" Iran to refrain from certain ballistic missile activity, offers no green light for nuclear-capable missile launches by Tehran and is therefore a clear ban. However, they acknowledge that Russia, China and Iran likely interpret that language as an appeal to Iran to voluntarily refrain from missile activity. Tehran has also said that none of its missiles is designed to carry nuclear weapons.

While no new UN sanctions may be imminent, western diplomats say the United States and some of its allies could take additional punitive action in the form of unilateral national sanctions against Iran over the latest missile launches, something Washington has done previously.

When UN sanctions on Iran were lifted in January, the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee was shut down. But council diplomats said they expect the former chair of that now-defunct committee, Spain, will take on the task of overseeing the monitoring of Tehran's compliance with resolution 2231.