Iranian military parade showcasing missiles.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Iran has probably broken international laws against its experimentation with ballistic missile technology, the White House said.
“We’ve got strong indications that those missile tests did violate a UN Security Council resolution that pertain to Iran’s ballistic missile activities.
Unfortunately, that’s not new,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday. “We have seen Iran almost serially violate the international community’s concerns about their ballistic missile program. And the UN Security Council resolution actually gives the international community some tools to interdict some equipment and material that could be used to advance their ballistic missile program.”
Earnest was referring to a UN resolution prohibiting Iran from pursuing ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads. But Iran has called the resolution illegal, and has long vowed to ignore it.
Certain types of missiles, specifically intercontinental ballistic missiles, are designed for nuclear and not conventional military uses.
They breach the atmosphere and speedily reenter over an intended target, are fashioned to carry the unique payload of a nuclear warhead and are not designed as precision weapons, given the nature of the intended strike.
“This is altogether separate from the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the rest of the world,” Earnest said.
The Iran nuclear deal reached on July 14, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, lifts international restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program after eight years.
At the State Department, a spokesman said the US would pursue punitive action against Iran within the parameters of the existing UN Security Council resolution, but not new sanctions.