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UN Panel Finds That Iran Violated Ballistic Missile Ban

A United Nations panel found that Iran’s ballistic missile test in October violated a UN Security Council resolution prohibiting it from developing  ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

“On the basis of its analysis and findings the Panel concludes that Emad launch is a violation by Iran of paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929,” the council’s Panel of Experts on Iran said in its report.

The confidential report, which was dated December 11, has been forwarded to members of the Security Council’s sanctions committee.

Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1929 states “that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”

When Iran scheduled ballistic missile tests a month after the nuclear deal was announced, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency claimed that such tests would reinforce Iran’s interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the resolution that formalizes parts of the nuclear deal. That resolution also calls for Iran to refrain from testing ballistic missiles, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his country was unwilling to “abide by any resolution” that would limit its capacity to develop or acquire the weapons it deemed necessary.

Following the October launch, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that Iran had violated security council resolutions. A group of eleven Democratic senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to “consider unilateral and multilateral responses” to confront Iran’s “clear non-compliance with UNSCR 1929 and to deter future violations.”

After a second ballistic test was reported earlier this month, a number of Democrats from both houses of Congress began pressing the administration to take more forceful actions against Iran. In addition, Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte (R – N.H.) and Mark Kirk (R – Ill.) sent a letter to the president expressing their concern over the lack of a strong response to Iran’s violations.

Iran has also routinely violated other UN resolutions, including the operation of a airline that was blacklisted by international sanctions, and the foreign travel of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qassem Soleimani to places like Moscow, despite UN restrictions against allowing him to travel internationally.

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