The United States, along with France, Britain, and Germany, have asked the U.N. Security Council to investigate Iran’s recent violation of a ballistic-missile test ban and take “appropriate action.”
ABC News reports the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, made the case at a Security Council meeting that Iran’s October 10 test involved missiles “inherently capable of carrying a nuclear weapon,” which was a “serious violation” of relevant Security Council resolutions.
Powers described this missile launch, coming only a few months after the Iran nuclear deal was finalized, as “provocative” and called on the council to appoint an independent panel of experts to “review this matter quickly and recommend appropriate action.”
“It’s clear in our view that is a violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions which remain in force after the Iran deal,” added Britain’s ambassador, Matthew Rycroft.
All parties continued to separate Iran’s ballistic missile violations from the nuclear deal, although Rycroft said the “proper and fair” implementation of the nuclear deal includes the understanding that missile tests “in clear violation of Security Council resolution have to be pursued.”
As for the uncomfortable question of precisely what the U.N. can do about Iranian defiance, now that the sanctions regime against it has been dismantled, Reuters cites diplomats who “have said it was possible for the sanctions committee to blacklist additional Iranian individuals or entities if it determined that the missile launch had breached the U.N. ban.”
However, the same diplomats admitted that “Russia and China, which have opposed the sanctions on Iran’s missile program, might block any such moves.”
Reuters also observes that when the nuclear deal goes fully into effect sometime next year, and the last of the sanctions are lifted, Iran will merely be “called upon” to refrain from working on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and even that weak restriction will last only eight years at most.
The Iranians continue to deny their new missiles are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also stated on Wednesday that, unlike the Obama Administration, his government does think missile tests and the nuclear deal are intimately connected, and warned that Iran would consider the nuclear deal null and void “if any of the six world powers imposed any sanctions on any level and under any pretext,” according to Reuters.