by Edwin Mora, Breitbart:
Iran test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile over the weekend capable of carrying a nuclear payload to parts of Europe, Israel, and anywhere else in the Middle East, a top U.S. Department of State (DOS) official stressed Monday, arguing the move violates a United Nations resolution.
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed in a statement:
The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads. The missile has a range that allows it to strike parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East. This test violates UN Security Council resolution 2231 that bans Iran from undertaking “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology…”
As we have been warning for some time, Iran’s missile testing and missile proliferation is growing. We are accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence. We condemn these activities, and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Citing an unnamed defense official directly familiar with the initial data from the launch, CNN downplayed the test, reporting that it did not appear to display any capabilities that the United States was not already aware of, adding that “it did not pose a direct threat.”
Nevertheless, referring to the recent test, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote on Twitter on Saturday, “This provocative behavior cannot be tolerated.”
Iran just test-fired an INF range ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel and Europe. This provocative behavior cannot be tolerated. https://t.co/EcPQ6MMjv7
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) 1 December 2018
Despite U.S. condemnation of its missile program, the Iranian military affirmed that it will keep conducting tests, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Monday.
On Sunday, the regime-aligned Tasnim news agency quoted Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, as saying: “Missile tests … are carried out for defense and the country’s deterrence, and we will continue this.”
Tehran will “continue to both develop and test missiles,” he also said, adding that such activity “is outside the framework of [nuclear] negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country’s permission.”
The Iranian general did not specifically confirm that Iran test-fired a missile over the weekend.
On Monday, Brian Hook, the senior policy adviser to Pompeo and special representative for Iran at DOS, acknowledged that Iran has failed to heed the U.N.’s 12-year-old demand to drop its ballistic missiles program.
For the last 12 years, the UN Security Council has been telling the Iranian regime to stop testing and proliferating ballistic missiles, and Iran continues to defy the UN Security Council, which is acting like an outlaw regime. … It was a mistake to exclude missiles from the Iran nuclear deal, and it is one of the principal reasons that the United States left it.
CNN argued that the U.N. resolution 2231, which endorsed the implementation of the controversial Iran nuclear deal, does not explicitly prohibit Iran from undertaking any activity related to the testing of ballistic missiles to the dismay of opponents of the pact, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“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,” the resolution states.