US Hits Back at Iranian Missiles in UN ahead of New Advanced Rocket Test

Is Iran building  intercontinental missiles for nuclear warheads? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Is Iran building intercontinental missiles for nuclear warheads? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The United States is warning that Iran is poised to launch a more advanced rocket than ever before—with applications to technology used for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that strike far away from Iranian soil. An American official, speaking with CNN, told the news network that Iran could fire a three-stage rocket carrying a satellite at any time. The potential test is compared to one North Korea performed earlier in the year.

Based on a previous CNN report about the range on the rocket fired by North Korean, a similar rocket for Iran would put Paris and London in range and be well on the way to reaching the US. Earlier this week, the US struck back at Iran diplomatically following the last round of missile tests by broaching the subject at the United Nations. And the US is arguing that Iran is acting in “defiance” of the UN resolution that codified the nuclear deal signed last year.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power was quoted in a press release from her office as saying on Monday of Iran’s recent missile tests, “that the technology they used is inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons and thus inherently defying Resolution 2231. So we’re not going to give up at the [UN] Security Council, no matter the quibbling that we heard today about this and that, and we also can consider, of course, our own appropriate national response.”

Power chided Russia for seeming to be “lawyering its way to look for reasons not to act rather than stepping up”. Russia, along with the US, is one of five nations on the powerful UN Security Council with veto power.

The US Ambassador highlighted the reports of anti-Israel threats issued by Iran in connection to the recent missile tests, noting the US is “particularly troubled” and condemned the threats “against one of our closest allies and another UN Member State.”

The US wasn’t alone in speaking out. Germany, another member of the group of world powers that struck that nuclear deal with Iran, said in comments released Wednesday by their Foreign Office, “The German Government condemns these missile tests and particularly the anti-Israeli threats they involved. We regard such tests as incompatible with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”

It’s unclear what the US and its allies will be able to do to Iran in response to the tests, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu certainly has his own thoughts.

“I have instructed the Foreign Ministry to contact all of the major powers that signed the nuclear agreement with Iran and I asked them to implement their commitment to prevent Iran from violating the Security Council’s decisions on the missiles issue; it cannot be that Iran will not be punished for this,” said Netanyahu in comments published by his office on Sunday. “I think that this is important in and of itself, but it is also important as a test of the major powers’ determination to enforce the nuclear agreement with Iran and, of course, we expect their answers.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 16, 2016)

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