U.S. Urges EU Sanctions On Iran Over 'Escalating Missile Threat'

U.S. Urges EU Sanctions On Iran Over 'Escalating Missile Threat'

Iran has defended its missile programme, saying that its programme or tests are not banned under any Security Council resolution, and fiercely refuses to put it on the table during negotiations.

There has been anger in Europe at Washington's abrupt withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal - derided by Trump as a failure but still cherished by many in Brussels as a crowning achievement of European Union diplomacy.

UN Security Council resolution 2231 enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, in which Tehran curbed its disputed uranium-enrichment program in exchange for an end to worldwide sanctions.

"As we have been warning for some time, Iran's missile testing and missile proliferation is growing".

"Iran's recent ballistic missile test was risky and concerning, but not surprising", US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

The U.S. has come into confrontation with Russian Federation over its alleged breach of a 1987 nuclear arms treaty, which banned nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 310 miles to 3,417 miles.

That resolution calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. In response to that, Iranian Armed Forces Spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said that the country would continue missile tests to improve its defense capabilities.

The language of the United Nations resolution "calls on" rather than "forbids" Iran from testing its missiles, according to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.

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Haley said the missile test was "provocative" and urged the global community not to keep "turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions". The White House has since being putting leverage on other nations to stop doing business in Iran, threatening companies defying it with secondary sanctions.

"If you wanted to demonstrate to the worldwide community that you were a responsible member of it and genuinely interested in regional peace and security, these are not the types of missiles you would be test-launching", said Pierce.

Those US sanctions have targeted Iran's critical oil sector, as well as several major Iranian banks and other industries.

The ballistic missile test and Iran's public admission have put the European Union in a hard spot, as it has been leading its reluctant membership to keep Iran's nuclear deal, which is also governed by resolution 2231. "I believe that we are making progress toward getting a proposal tabled in Brussels that would designate the individuals and the entities that are facilitating Iran's missile program".

Several EU countries have denounced the recent United States sanctions, however, and continue to work to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, even though they have also criticised Iranian positions on other matters. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Brussels to attend a two-day meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers. "Iran is on the wrong track and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is created to starve the regime of the revenue it needs to test missiles and proliferate missiles, support terrorism, conduct cyber attacks, [and] conduct acts of maritime aggression".

"We have a legal and religious duty to reduce the income pressure on the people".

He lamented that conventional wisdom had concluded that "the more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are" and "the more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done".

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