By Pooya Stone
Britain, France and Germany have accused Iran of developing missile technology in violation of UN resolution, following recent activities, and called for a full UN report in a letter sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday.
The three countries said that Iran’s launch of a space vehicle and unveiling of two new ballistic missiles in February are part of a “trend of increased activity inconsistent” with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was adopted just after the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal, more formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The resolution called on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons”.
Britain, France and Germany, who remain a party to the nuclear deal, asked Guterres to “report fully and thoroughly on Iranian ballistic missile activity” during his June report.
The European countries said that the Safir space launch vehicle, which was used for a satellite blastoff on February 6, is based on two other missiles and uses technology related to long-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles. They also said that the public unveiling of the Dezful surface-to-surface missile, which is claimed to have a range of 1,000 kilometres, by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards on February 7 and the Khorramshahr ballistic missile on February 4, concerned them.
The countries said these were “potentially intermediate-range ballistic missiles.”
This comes just one month after the United States, who left the nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, made a similar plea to the council, arguing for tougher international restrictions on Tehran. Donald Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal because he was concerned over Iran’s missile development among other things.
Iran insists that its missile program is defensive, that its nuclear programme is civilian, but they’ve recently admitted to deceiving the West over the programme by faking shutting down reactors and destroying parts. Iran has also never slowed down or stopped its developments of ballistic missiles, even those capable of holding a nuclear payload.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for stricter restrictions on Iran at a council meeting in December, in order to curb its missile programme, but fellow permanent UN Security Council member Russia, a key Iran ally, denied that Iran’s missiles could carry a nuclear payload and rejected the move.
The other signatories to the nuclear deal are Russia and China.