US urges UN to tighten restrictions on Iran over missile launches

UNITED NATIONS — The United States accuses Iran of carrying out three missile-related launches in defiance of UN resolutions and urges the Security Council to “bring back tougher international restrictions” against Tehran.

In a letter to the council seen by AFP, US acting Ambassador Jonathan Cohen warns Iran’s activities are destabilizing the entire Middle East and risk triggering an arms race.

Cohen singles out a December 1 launch of a medium-range ballistic missile and the January 15 and February 5 attempts by Iran to place satellites into orbit using space launch vehicles.

“Iran has carried out these three launches in defiance of the expressed will of the UN Security Council, and such provocations continue to destabilize the entire Middle East region,” says the letter seen by AFP.

The United States calls on the council to “join us in imposing real consequences on Iran for its flagrant defiance of the council’s demands and bring back tougher international restrictions to deter Iran’s missile program.”

There is no immediate request from the United States for a council meeting to discuss Iran and no further steps were announced in the letter.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 — adopted just after the 2015 nuclear deal — calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Tehran insists that its missile development program is defensive and in compliance with the resolution, but the United States has repeatedly challenged that stance.


Acting Permanent Representative of the United States Jonathan Cohen addresses the United Nations Security Council, at UN headquarters, on January 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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