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06 December 2018, 11:31 | Devin Moran
Iran vows to continue missile tests following U.S. allegation
"Missile tests. are carried out for defense and the country's deterrence, and we will continue this", Brigadier- General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran's armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Less than a week after Brian Hook, the United States special representative for Iran, exhibited components that had been recovered from Middle East combat zones, the political conflict over Iranian weapons development and exportation ramped up again on Tuesday, as the global community contemplated a response to a recent ballistic missile launch.
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of carrying out the launch in violation of United Nations resolutions and called on Tehran to cease such activities.
The Security Council has been divided since the resolution was adopted over whether the language on ballistic missile launches is permissive or mandatory.
However, diplomats said they were now trying to limit the fallout of the decision by staggering the expected USA withdrawal into next year and first formally accusing Russian Federation of breaking the INF agreement, which rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles. According to him, the missile in question is capable of carrying multiple warheads.
The letter stated that while Britain, France and Germany took "note of Iran's official position on these missile strikes as a response to a terrorist attack in Iran, we assess that Iran's firing of the short range ballistic missiles was inconsistent" with resolution 2231.
UN Security Council to meet over Iran ballistic missile test
"We will continue to both develop and test missiles".
The United States on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to condemn Iran's ballistic missile test, which it described as "dangerous and concerning" and a violation of a UN resolution.
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters after the closed council meeting that members expressed "a lot of concern" about the December 1 test launch and stressed that the 2015 resolution doesn't say nuclear weapons must be on the missiles.
In Iran's transparent missile and defence policies, he said, there is no design and plan for having missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and there won't be any in the future.
"It is a grave and escalating threat, and nations around the world-not just Europe-need to do everything they can to be targeting Iran's missile program", he added. Under pressure from Washington, the US -led NATO alliance is expected later on Tuesday to declare Russian Federation in formal breach of a nuclear arms control treaty, paving the way for Trump to withdraw from the Cold War-era agreement.
Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance supported by Russian Federation at the Security Council.
Pompeo lamented that conventional wisdom had concluded that "the more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are" and "the more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done".
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