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UN Security Council discusses new Iran missile test

Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The United Nations Security Council has met behind closed-doors to discuss Iran’s latest missile test, which the United States and other allies said may have been in violation of a three-year-old council resolution.

The December 4 session ended with no joint statement despite a U.S. call for council members to condemn Iran’s weekend ballistic missile test, which Washington described as “dangerous and concerning.”

“The United States has repeatedly warned the world about Iran’s deliberate efforts to destabilize the Middle East and defy international norms,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement. “The international community cannot keep turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions.”

The Iranian mission to the UN claimed that describing Iran’s ballistic missile program as inconsistent with UN resolution 2231, which was passed as part of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and Western powers, or as a regional threat was “a deceptive and hostile policy of the U.S.”

After the council meeting, French Ambassador Francois Delattre said there was “widely-shared concern” at the council about Iran’s missile test and renewed France’s call to Iran to halt all activities related to its missile program.

U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce said that the type of missile launched on December 1 went “way beyond legitimate defensive needs” and points to Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region.

Tehran has neither denied nor confirmed the missile launch.

Iran says its missile program is defensive and not aimed at building an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles.

On December 3, the U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, urged the European Union to impose new sanctions on Iran, calling the program a “grave and escalating threat.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said the ballistic missile was capable of carrying multiple warheads and striking parts of Europe and the entire Middle East.

The United States in May said it was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and moving to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, angering Washington’s European allies.