West Seeks Action on Iran’s Missiles as Tehran Asserts Right to Defense

West Seeks Action on Iran’s Missiles as Tehran Asserts Right to Defense West Seeks Action on Iran’s Missiles as Tehran Asserts Right to Defense , West Seeks Action on Iran’s Missiles as Tehran Asserts Right to Defense

Western powers have stepped up pressure against Iran’s missile activities, as the country insists on safeguarding its right to promote its defense power in the face of escalating foreign threats. 
The UN Security Council was to meet behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of France and Britain after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range missile at the weekend, AFP cited diplomats as saying.
The United States had claimed a missile launch on Saturday, which has been neither confirmed nor denied by Iran, was a violation of a UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which Washington has withdrawn.
That resolution calls on Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons, an objective that Tehran vehemently denies pursuing.
France said it was concerned by the test-firing, which its foreign ministry described as “provocative and destabilizing” and “does not conform” with UN Resolution 2231 on the Iran deal.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the missile test “provocative, threatening and inconsistent” with the resolution and said Britain was determined “that it should cease”.


No UN Ban on Missile Tests  

Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance supported by Russia at the UN Security Council.
In a talk with ICANA on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif stressed that no UN resolution, including the one endorsing the nuclear accord, has barred Iran from carrying out missile tests.
“Resolution 2231 only covers missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads,” the top diplomat said.    
He reassured that Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear arms and that its missiles have been designed to be tipped with conventional warheads.  
Zarif explained that “the missiles designed to deliver nuclear warheads do not have high accuracy … but the Islamic Republic in its recent missile strike on terrorists [linked to the self-styled Islamic State group in Syria] showed that its missiles enjoy pinpoint accuracy”.
He said Iran has decided to bear the high cost of building precision-guided weapons, adding that missiles need conventional warheads to be able to hit targets with pinpoint accuracy.     
Meanwhile, Washington’s Iran envoy Brian Hook urged the European Union to slap sanctions on Tehran’s missile program, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Brussels for talks with European partners.
The United States decided in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran, to the dismay of its Europeans allies.
The nuclear deal provides for a lifting of sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear activities.
The remaining five signatories to the nuclear deal—Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia—have backed an EU effort to set up a special payment system to maintain trade and business ties with Iran.


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