Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Security Council to Meet on Iran Missile Test


FILE - 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 powerful Revolutionary Guard, during a maneuver, in an undisclosed location in Iran.

The United Nations Security Council is to hold urgent talks Tuesday in response to a ballistic missile test carried out by Iran.

The United States requested the meeting following Sunday's test launch of a medium-range missile. The exact type of missile and its capabilities were not clear.

A 2015 Security Council resolution prohibits Iran from any activities related to ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.

The eight-year ban followed the adoption of an agreement Iran reached with six world powers to limit its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

The deal brokered with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany came in response to allegations Iran was working to develop nuclear weapons, which Iran has repeatedly rejected.

During a news conference in Tehran Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif did not confirm or deny the test had taken place, but reiterated Iran's stance that its missiles are not designed to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Indiana University Iran analyst Hussein Banai said he thinks the motivation behind the test was mostly political, and that Iran has learned "how to behave in response to an aggressive U.S. administration."

"I think it's done this in order to send a clear signal that it's not going to back down from the kind of normal activities it was carrying out during the Obama administration, and that it does not want to appear conciliatory or somehow too timid in the face of tough talk coming out of Washington," Banai told VOA.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been a sharp critic of the Iranian nuclear deal, saying the world powers gave up too much in exchange for too little. In a phone call this week with Saudi King Salman, Trump promised to "rigorously" enforce the agreement.

Senator Bob Corker, another opponent of the deal, said Monday Iran will no longer "be given a pass for its repeated ballistic missile violations."

"I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to hold Iran accountable for this and other violations while ensuring radical enforcement of existing restrictions on its nuclear program," he said in a statement.