Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon informed the Security Council on Thursday that in January 2018 Iran had carried out two ballistic missile tests.The missile launches, he emphasized, were in clear violation of Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.“On 2 January 2018, Iran launched a Shahab-3 variant at the Cha-bahar firing range [in southeast Iran],” Danon claimed in a letter circulated to the 15-member Security Council.“On 5 January 2018, Iran launched a Scud variant from a firing range 110 km. northeast of Kerman. Both the Shahab-3 and Scud missiles are Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) category one ballistic missiles, capable of delivering a nuclear payload of 500 kilograms for a range of over 300 kilometers.”“Iran’s activities are therefore in violation of Article 3 of Annex B to Security Council Resolution 2231,” wrote the ambassador.Resolution 2231 is the UN’s official endorsement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, informally known as the Iran nuclear deal.
The agreement was originally signed on July 14, 2015 between China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the high representative of the European Union, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. America’s participation in the accord, however, was rescinded earlier this month by US President Donald Trump, who complained that the parameters of the deal “were so poorly negotiated” it would allow Iran to be on the “verge of a nuclear breakout” at any time.The unwillingness of Iran to agree on concessions in its ballistic missile program was also one of the major hurdles that caused Trump to nix the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.“Iran continues to ignore its obligations to the international community and further destabilize the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and the Gaza Strip,” Danon stated in the letter.Danon further noted that these launches are part of a series of “Iranian breaches of this resolution this year, including the missiles it fired from Syria into Israel and the armed UAV it launched from Syria into Israeli airspace.”“Its activities pose a direct threat to Israel and the entire region. The Security Council must remain vigilant in the face of Iranian aggression,” he wrote.On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei set out seven conditions for Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal with world powers, which included the condition that they would not seek new negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional Middle East activities.
Trump quits Iran nuclear deal, reimposes sanctions on Tehran (Reuters)