Following Launch, U.S. Urges EU to Sanction Iran over Ballistic Missile Program

The United States on Monday called on European countries to impose sanctions on Iran, after the Islamic Republic test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that can carry multiple warheads in defiance of the United Nations resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, JNS reported.

“We would like to see the European Union [impose] sanctions that target Iran’s missile program,” said Brian Hook, a senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State and special envoy for Iran.

In December of last year, Germany and France called on Iran to end its ballistic missile program. Their plea was rejected by Iran. Earlier in 2017, Germany, France, the U.S., and the United Kingdom wrote a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres, charging that Iran’s launch of a satellite violated resolution 2231, which implemented the nuclear deal.

Hook, who addressed the press on his way to a summit of top NATO officials in Brussels, called Iran’s ballistic missile program “a grave and escalating threat” and urged “nations around the world—not just Europe,” to do everything in their power to confront Iranian aggression.

Hook, agreeing with Israel’s assessment of Tehran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East, observed that Iranian-backed and controlled “militias spread like a cancer, eroding stability and threatening peace and global trade in both the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb.”

The envoy noted that “We have been warning the world for some time that we are accumulating risk of a regional conflict if we do not deter Iran’s missile testing and proliferation,” adding “Iran is on the wrong track, and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is designed to starve the regime of revenue it needs to test missiles and to proliferate missiles, for terrorism, conduct cyber-attacks and make acts of maritime aggression and many human rights abuses.”

In June of this year, ordinary Iranians took to the streets across Iran to express their anger at regime’s wars and support for regional terror groups at expense of country’s troubled economy. Videos posted to social media showed protesters chanting: “Death to Palestine,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon” and “Leave Syria and think of us.” Chants of “We don’t want the ayatollahs” and “Death to the dictator” were also heard.

Hook, in his briefing to the press on Monday, said “The Iranian people deserve a government that represents their interests and not just the interests of their violent and corrupt leaders.”

[Photo: PressTV ]