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UN council meets on Iran's ballistic missile launches

UN council meets on Iran's ballistic missile launches

Also on Tuesday, the full text of an earlier letter sent to the Security Council by Britain, France and Germany was released in which the three countries said earlier Iranian missile tests were "inconsistent with" resolution 2231.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the Iranian military has tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile which "has the ability to hit parts of Europe and any location in the Middle East".

Britain on Tuesday accused Iran of disregarding a United Nations resolution after the Security Council debated whether a purported ballistic missile test three days ago could even amount to a breach of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. The EU has taken extraordinary measures to safeguard the nuclear deal and shield Iran and European companies from USA sanctions.

It further noted that the USA unlawfully quit the nuclear agreement, and is in absolute violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

"Iran firmly rejects any arbitrary interpretation of the provisions of resolution 2231, according to which, Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles 'designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, '" the statement reads. In a statement issued in connection with the closed meeting, the Islamic Republic's diplomatic mission to the United Nations stressed that "all ballistic missile related activities of Iran are in full conformity with the relevant provisions of resolution 2231".

"Today, Iran is among the world's topmost powers in building missiles, radars, armored vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)", the Iranian defense minister said in an exclusive interview with IRNA, emphasizing that Iran's defense power is meant to send the message of peace and friendship to other nations.

China, Iran and Russian Federation all deny the charges, which the USA makes frequently.

"While [the United States] itself violates [UN Security Council resolution] 2231 - and even threatens to punish those who don't wish to violate it in abiding with illegal USA sanctions - it now falsely accuses Iran of violating the very SAME resolution", Mr. Zarif added.

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The alleged test comes amid heightened U.S. pressure on Iran, as well as repeated attempts by United States officials to persuade its European allies to stop doing business with Tehran in line with renewed USA sanctions on the country, which came into force on 4 November.

He did not confirm or deny Iran had tested a new missile, Reuters news agency reported.

Those US sanctions have targeted Iran's critical oil sector, as well as several major Iranian banks and other industries.

It does not, in fact, ban Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles, a point of criticism for opponents of the deal.

"This is a grave and escalating threat and we need to restore deterrents against Iran's missile programme". "I believe that we are making progress toward getting a proposal tabled in Brussels that would designate the individuals and the entities that are facilitating Iran's missile program".

"Surrealism is now the US's modus operandi in its foreign affairs", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. "He reiterated America's resolve in confronting the totality of the Iranian regime's threats through maximum pressure", the State Department statement added.

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. "This is the most important thing that we must do and the government is putting forth all its efforts on this issue".