Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control reiterated Russia’s position on Iran’s ballistic missiles on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agenda by stating the move has no basis. He said UNSC Resolution 2231,
“[D]oes not ban the tests [and] any country, especially when it comes to a Security Council member, can raise these issues, any country can write to the Security Council. But in this case, we do not quite understand the reasons. Whether someone likes it or not, the fact that Iran is launching ballistic missiles is a separate case. The truth is that there are no constraints on such launches in Resolution 2231.”
Ulyanov’s remarks come as the United States and some of its European allies seek a meeting with the UNSC over the recent Iranian missile tests, which they allege were carried out in defiance of the resolution.
Resolution 2231, which endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the Iran-P5+1 agreement — provides for the termination of the provisions of previous Security Council resolutions over the Iranian nuclear program.
On March 9, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps successfully test fired two ballistic missiles in a readiness test whilst claiming that they will be used in a defensive posture only. Currently, Iran holds the largest missile cache of short and medium range missiles in the Middle East.
Russia’s defense of Iran’s ballistic missile program may sway the UNSC to take no action, despite its strong opposition from several UN members, with Israel being the most vocal. Russia is a member of the JCPOA and currently receives shipments of low-enriched uranium from Iran under the JCPOA agreement.
Will the UNSC consider Russia’s position on Iran’s ballistic missile program or dismiss it all together? Sound off in the comments below!