Israel’s UN envoy: Iran missile tests ‘gross violation’ of nuclear deal
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Israel’s UN envoy: Iran missile tests ‘gross violation’ of nuclear deal

Danon seeks Security Council condemnation of Tehran for violating ban on firing rockets capable of carrying atomic payload

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council, October 22, 2015. (Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN)
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the UN Security Council, October 22, 2015. (Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN)

The recent Iranian tests of ballistic missiles are a “gross violation” of a United Nations resolution that supported last year’s nuclear agreement with Tehran, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the Security Council in a letter Friday.

Iran fired two long-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday and similar tests were carried out on Tuesday, less than two months after the Iran nuclear deal was implemented. It bragged that the missiles could reach Israel.

Danon called on the Council to issue a strong condemnation of Iran for what he said was a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement, arguing that the tests are in breach of Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans Iran from firing any missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead.

“The test firing of ballistic missiles constitutes a gross violation of UNSC Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1,” Danon wrote. “Iran continues to disregard its obligations to UN resolutions. This latest provocation makes it clear that the ‘smile campaign’ of the current regime is nothing more than a smokescreen to disguise the real intentions of the ayatollah regime.”

A missile launched from the Alborz mountains in Iran on March 9, 2016, reportedly inscribed in Hebrew, "Israel must be wiped out." (Fars News)
A missile launched from the Alborz mountains in Iran on March 9, 2016, reportedly inscribed in Hebrew, “Israel must be wiped out.” (Fars News)

The ambassador also highlighted the fact that the Iranians had written “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth” in Hebrew on the side of missiles, and that a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards had warned that Iran had missiles able to reach any point in Israel.

“The Security Council must not stand by in silence when one member state of the United Nations calls for the annihilation of another member state [and] continues to disregard it obligations to the international community to develop its aggressive capabilities,” Danon wrote.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power on Friday asked the UN Security Council to discuss the missile launches at an upcoming meeting.

The US is “deeply concerned” about the Iranian missile tests, “which are provocative and destabilizing,” Power said in a statement.

Power noted Iranian military leaders had claimed that the missiles were designed to be a direct threat to Israel and added: “We condemn such threats against another UN member-state and one of our closest allies.”

President Reuven Rivlin meets with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power at the president's residence in Jerusalem on February 15, 2016. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin meets with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power at the president’s residence in Jerusalem on February 15, 2016. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

Under the nuclear deal with Iran that came into force January 16, most sanctions resolutions against Tehran were annulled. But an arms embargo and restrictions on ballistic missile technology capable of carrying a nuclear warhead remain in place, under Resolution 2231.

Iran has maintained that its missile program is not aimed at developing a nuclear capability.

“We will raise these dangerous launches directly at council consultations, which we have called for, on Monday,” said Power.

“These launches underscore the need to work with partners around the world to slow and degrade Iran’s missile program,” she added.

On Wednesday, Iran fired two Qadr-H and Qadr-F precision missiles fired from launcher trucks tucked in a mountain range in northern Iran, hitting targets about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away in the southeastern Makran area, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said.

A day earlier, state media announced that short-, medium- and long-range precision guided missiles were fired from several sites to show the country’s “all-out readiness to confront threats.”

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