Paris- Two months after putting the Iranian nuclear deal- signed in Vienna July 2015- into effect, Iranian ballistic missile trials resumed causing controversy among the international community. Western sources said that the provisional period for monitoring Tehran’s actions towards regional cases or missile drills, has not yet met what had been expected from the Iranian administration.
Iranian President Rouhani’s government has not changed its attitude nor signaled its wish on working towards mitigating tension and reducing Iranian intervention in regional affairs.
Based on United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power’s request, the U.S. is to take the Iranian ballistic missile program to the U.N. Security Council. The other 28 European ministers of foreign affairs will discuss the Iranian nuclear file and its outlook in their upcoming Brussels meetings. They should also confer on which measures should be taken after the repetition of missile trials, and the size of European and international response.
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault had formerly proposed new sanctions to be imposed on Tehran if found necessary. United States Secretary of State John Kerry considered that the Iranian experiments are a clear violation to the U.N. Security council’s resolutions, especially the 2015 July issued resolution 2231, which is the same resolution that permitted the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1.
Kerry stated that Washington has specifically enlisted missile launch among the military activities which require punitive sanctions.
Ayrault and Kerry spoke to reporters after a meeting comprising six foreign ministers. All of British, German, Italian ministers of foreign affairs and EU representative Federica Mogherini joined Kerry and Ayrault for discussing circumstances in Syria, Yemen and Ukraine. The meeting, however, did not address the Iranian ballistic missile file.
It is noteworthy that issuing sanctions doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be assumed by the U.N. Security Council, because such a measure would require a new resolution in which all of Security Council members’ approval is conditioned, including Russia and China.
A European source told Asharq Al-Awsat that resolution 2231prohibits Iran from conducting missile trials, if the tested missiles are specialized or are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Iran denies its nuclear program having any military objectives; it also refutes any allegations on its administration seeking future nuclear arsenal.
With all the aforesaid, punitive measures exercised by the U.S. and the EU would be the topic of discussion among the European ministers of foreign affairs today.
Washington had already imposed new sanctions on Tehran after its October 2015 missile trials.
The European source said that arriving to a unanimous European decision will not be simple. The U.S. approach is confused itself and lacks solidarity.
Kerry, a day after the missile trials, had considered that the action does not violate the nuclear deal. Controversially, Ambassador Power reviewed the actions taken by Tehran to be a grave source for concern. Not only that, but Power said that, with its missile trials, Iran is playing around with fire and directly threatening stability.
Power immediately sought a meeting with the U.N. Security council for an emergency reassessment.