News / Middle East

    Iran to UN: Missile Launch Not A Violation

    In this photo obtained from the Iranian Fars News Agency, a Qadr H long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile is fired by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, during a maneuver, in an undisclosed location in Iran, Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
    In this photo obtained from the Iranian Fars News Agency, a Qadr H long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile is fired by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, during a maneuver, in an undisclosed location in Iran, Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
    Margaret Besheer

    The Iranian government has written to the United Nations defending its recent ballistic missile launch, which was criticized by the United States and other nations.

    In a letter dated March 23, Iran’s U.N. ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, told the Secretary-General and the Security Council that Iran has not taken any activity that violates the language of a U.N. resolution adopted in July.

    That resolution “calls upon” Iran not to “undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

    The Iranian ambassador said his government “fully honors its commitment” under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the July deal with the six major powers on its nuclear program.

    Khoshroo said in the letter that there is no basis for raising this issue in the Security Council, adding that “it is contrary to the prevailing positive environment and detrimental to the good faith implementation” of the nuclear deal.

    On March 14, council members met at the request of the United States to discuss the missile launch.

    U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said then that the launches were “dangerous, destabilizing and provocative” and “undermine the prospect for peace” in the region.

    She said the United States would “not give up” in the Security Council and would provide technical information that Iran had made public “showing that the technology they used is inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” in defiance of the U.N. resolution. Power added that Washington could consider its own unilateral response.

    Speaking at a book launch event Thursday, Ambassador Khoshroo said Tehran is “happy” about the nuclear deal, “but at the same time we are not receiving the removal of sanctions on banking and the transfer of money; there still are problems,” he added.

    Of U.S.-Iranian relations he said, “a small window of communication has been opened, we are expressing our dissatisfaction to each other through that small window, but the big door is closed.”

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