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World Powers: Iran Missile Tests Defy Nuclear Pact

April 6, 2016

“Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, ‘You will not call to account’?  But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands …  Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.”  (Psalm 10:13–15)

The United States, France, Britain, and Germany have called for an “appropriate response” from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) after Iran’s latest round of ballistic-missile tests, saying the projectiles’ capacity to carry nuclear warheads violates last year’s nuclear deal.

The four world powers, whose joint letter to the UNSC was distributed last Tuesday, said that Iran’s missile tests are “in defiance of” Resolution 2231, which outlines guidelines that Iran’s domestic nuclear program must follow in exchange for lifting sanctions and other restrictions against Iran.

The joint letter also notes “with concern that Iranian military leaders have reportedly claimed these missiles are deigned to be a direct threat to Israel.”

The letter further states that the missiles, a short-range Qiam-1 and a medium-range Shahab-3, were “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and calls the Iranian missile practice tests “destabilizing and provocative.”

These two missiles were launched by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG) from Iran’s Alborz mountains, both with a Hebrew message on the side that said: “Israel shall be wiped off the face of the Earth.”

Iran, Israel, missile threat, nuclear threat

Ballistic missile test (Fars News Agency photo by Mahdi Marizad)

IRG officials, such as its commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, have stated that Iran is testing missiles in order to target Israel.

Jafari said last January that, “We will fight to the end to destroy Israel.”

Another official, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the IRG aerospace division, said after the March 9 test, “The 2,000-km (1,240-mi) range of our missiles is to confront the Zionist regime.”

“Israel is surrounded by Islamic countries and it will not last long in a way,” Hajizadeh said.  “It will collapse even before being hit by these missiles.”  (Fars)

This March, Tasnim News in Iran published another declaration by Iran’s Interests Section in Egypt, saying: “Tehran’s principled policy about the nature of Israeli occupation and its state-sponsored terrorism, as well as Iran’s all-out support for the holy cause of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is clear to everyone in the region and the world.”  (Times of Israel)

Meanwhile, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani tweeted days after the testing that “the future is in dialogue, not missiles.”  (Reuters)

On Wednesday, however, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on military action and matters of state, set Iran’s policy straight:  “Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei, Iran, Israel

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Photo: leader)

Because Israel is not ignorant about Iran’s goal to destroy her people and take her Land, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon welcomed the council’s call for action.

“There must be consequences for Iran’s hostility towards Israel,” Danon said in a statement last Tuesday.  “The international community must take action and impose sanctions against the Iranian regime.”

UN Sec.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon added this past week that the major UNSC powers who negotiated with Iran on the July 2015 nuclear deal are “the ones who will analyze whether this ballistic missiles launched were a violation … and what kind of measures should be taken.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the nuclear deal was approved by China, France, Russia, Britain, and the US — the permanent members of the UN Security Council — plus Germany, the European Union, and Iran.

Iran, Israel, missile testing, nuclear threat

Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, speaks to journalists ahead of Security Council consultations on the recent ballistic missile launch by Iran.  (UN photo by Mark Garten)

The Plan of Action declares that “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”  (Annex B, paragraph 3)

Some UN diplomats argue that the document’s language is “ambiguous.”

“You may like it or not that Iran launches ballistic missiles, but that is a different story.  The truth is that in the 2231 resolution there are no such bans,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, a Russian Foreign Ministry official who heads the ministry’s department on arms control.

Russia carries veto power on the Security Council.

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