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UN chief urges Iranian ‘moderation’ after missile tests

Ban calls on Tehran ‘not to increase tensions through hasty actions’ so soon after nuclear deal

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gestures during a press briefing on the sidelines of the main annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on February 29, 2016. (AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI)
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gestures during a press briefing on the sidelines of the main annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on February 29, 2016. (AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged Iran to act with caution and moderation after Tehran carried out missile tests over two days this week.

“In the current political atmosphere in the Middle East region, and so soon after the positive news of the lifting of sanctions against Iran, the secretary-general calls on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to act with moderation, caution and the good sense not to increase tensions through any hasty actions,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Iran fired two more long-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, a day after similar tests that came fewer than two months after the Iran nuclear deal was implemented.

Ban said it was up to the UN Security Council to determine whether this was in violation of resolutions banning the development of ballistic missile technology capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

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)

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

The United States, Britain and France have said they are still examining the latest tests to determine whether the Security Council should respond.

UN diplomats have said it remains unclear when and if action will be taken at the Security Council over the latest tests.

In January, the US administration announced new sanctions on Iran over the October test-launch of a medium-range missile that a UN panel of experts said was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Under the historic nuclear deal reached with Iran, most UN sanctions resolutions against Tehran were lifted, but an arms embargo and restrictions on ballistic missile technology remain in force.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini (left) meets Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd left) and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (2nd right) during Iranian nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 29, 2015. (AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)
EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini (left) meets Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd left) and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (2nd right) during Iranian nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 29, 2015. (AFP/Fabrice Coffrini)

On Wednesday, Iran fired two Qadr-H and Qadr-F precision missiles 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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