The United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany warned Wednesday that Iran’s recent satellite launch was “threatening and provocative,” and defied a United Nations Security Council resolution on the use of missiles.
In a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres, ambassadors from the European nations and the U.S. charged that Iran’s launch last week of a satellite on a Simorgh missile, which employs similar propulsion technology to an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, violated Security Council resolution 2231, which formalized the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Language in the resolution called upon Iran “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 Simorgh rocket is “inherently capable of delivering a nuclear warhead,” the U.S. and its allies asserted in the letter.
France, Germany, and the UK’s decision to join Washington in its condemnation of Tehran is significant, as all three were among the P5+1 nations that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (the other two are Russia and China). The move demonstrated that the U.S. is “not alone” in its disapproval of Iran’s missile development program, the Times observed.
“The technologies necessary for the conception, the fabrication and the launch of space launch vehicles are closely related to those of ballistic missiles, in particular to those of an intercontinental ballistic missile,” the letter from the four ambassadors asserted. “This launch therefore represents a threatening and provocative step by Iran.”
The letter also said that Iran’s “longstanding program to develop ballistic missiles” is inconsistent with resolution 2231.
According to the Corker-Cardin bill, which passed in May 2015, the president has to certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and “any related agreements” every 90 days. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated last week that the U.S. considered Iran’s ballistic missile launches to be “a violation of UNSCR 2231,” the resolution that formalized the nuclear deal.
[Photo: Tasnim News / WikiCommons ]