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Iran Missile Tests Have Caused Alarm - Ban Ki-moon - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A handout picture made available by the Iran's revolutionary guards corps (IRGC) official website (Sepahnews) shows an Iranian long range missile Qadr launched at an undisclosed location in Iran, 09 March 2016.- EPA/SEPAHNEWS

A handout picture made available by the Iran’s revolutionary guards corps (IRGC) official website (Sepahnews) shows an Iranian long range missile Qadr launched at an undisclosed location in Iran, 09 March 2016.- EPA/SEPAHNEWS

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that Iran’s ballistic missile had caused “alarm” and it would be up to the major powers to decide whether to impose fresh sanctions.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards conducted ballistic missile tests earlier this month, in what they said was a demonstration of Iran’s non-nuclear deterrent power.

Ban, speaking to reporters in Geneva on the sidelines of a conference on Syrian refugees, said: “Out of this agreement (with major powers), now Iranians have launched ballistic missiles. It is true that that has caused alarm and concern.

“But what kinds of sanctions, what kind of measures should be applied is up to the Security Council members,” he said.

Despite the nuclear tests raising the international community’s concern, Iran’s top leader on Wednesday said missiles were key to the Islamic Republic’s future, offering support to the hardline Revolutionary Guards.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei braced last year’s nuclear deal with world powers but has since called for Iran to steer away from further rapprochement with the United States and its allies, and maintain its economic and military strength.

“Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors,” Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state, was quoted as saying by his website.

“If the Islamic Republic seeks negotiations but has no defensive power, it would have to back down against threats from any weak country.”

Last week, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the de facto leader of a more moderate political alliance, tweeted “the future is in dialogue, not missiles”.

The United States and several European powers said the tests challenged a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls on Iran not to test nuclear-capable missiles, Reuters reported after having a look at a joint letter on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, said the tests did not violate Resolution 2231. Iran has consistently denied that its missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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