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Washington Acts Against Tehran’s Ballistic Missiles | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Revolutionary Guard missile, the Shahab-3, under a picture of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. Hasan Sarbakhshian/AP

New York, London- International reactions accelerated hours ahead of Washington’s request to hold an extraordinary U.N. Security Council session on Tuesday night to discuss Iran’s testing of its medium-range ballistic missiles a few weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump came to office.

However, the Security Council failed to agree on whether Iran’s missile test violated international resolutions, particularly Resolution 2231.

While the new U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, described Tehran’s act as unacceptable and a violation of Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers, her Russian counterpart Vitaly Churkin said nothing prevents Tehran from conducing similar tests.

Before attending the closed-door session on Tuesday, Britain’s Ambassador to the U.N. Matthew Rycroft said that when concluding the nuclear deal, members of the Security Council had hoped Iran would be a responsible regional partner, but its policy on Syria, Iraq and Lebanon constitutes an “obstacle to peace in the region.”

Rycroft added that his country would speak with the U.S. and all U.N. member states about what could be done regarding Iran’s policies.

Amid signs of fears concerning Tehran’s recent escalatory measures vis-à-vis the West, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asked Washington not to fuel tensions over its ballistic missile tests.

“We hope that Iran’s defense program is not used by the new U.S. administration… as a pretext to create new tensions,” Zarif said in a televised press conference with visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

“No Iranian missiles have been produced to carry nuclear warheads,” Zarif said. However, the foreign minister neither confirmed nor denied the U.S. report.

Tehran’s stance came after a U.S. official said Iran on Sunday test-launched a medium-range ballistic missile that exploded after 1,010 km. In light of this development, the U.S. requested the Security Council to hold “urgent consultations” on Tuesday, after its scheduled a session on Syria’s conflict.

In Tehran, Ayrault expressed Paris’ concerns over the Iranian test, adding that it harmed the international community’s confidence in Tehran and contravened Security Council Resolution 2231.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon stressed that Iran once again went against the Security Council’s decision and exposed its true intentions.

Danon urged the U.N. to act immediately against Iranian actions that put both Israel and the entire Middle East at risk.

Resolution 2231 bans Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years starting July 20, 2015.

Also, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tuesday: “It seems that under current circumstances, certain figures in the U.S., with political and propaganda motivations, are seeking pretexts in order to ease the international pressure and criticism which they have faced due to imprudent decision over anti Muslim travel ban.”