Following the boasts of an Iranian general that Iran’s latest ballistic missile has the range of over 2,000 kilometers (1250 miles), United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the threat in remarks to the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.
The secretary noted that a missile tested by Iran in January 2017 had a range of nearly 2,000 kilometers, meaning that it could reach “Athens, Sofia, Bucharest, and other major European cities.” A missile with a greater range would mean that “other European capitals are at risk as well,” he added.
Pompeo recalled that United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 was overwhelmingly passed in 2010, prohibiting Iran from carrying out “any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.” Regardless, Iran “conducted multiple ballistic missile launches” over the next five years “in flagrant violation of that resolution.”
Instead of taking further action to deter this behavior, Pompeo said that “the level of accountability on Iran has diminished instead of — decreased, while the risk has increased.” This was because Resolution 2231, which implemented the nuclear deal, used less-demanding language regarding Iran’s ballistic missile development.
While the language in 2231 “calls upon” Iran not to pursue ballistic missile development, Pompeo said, “we must agree to stop it now,” noting that it is the twelfth year in a row that the Security Council has been convened to discuss the ballistic missile threat from Iran.
He thanked France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, for also objecting to Iran’s ballistic missile launches.
While demanding a tougher response from the body about Iran’s ballistic missile program, he also called for extending terms in 2231 that would allow Iran to resume exporting arms in 2020. The Secretary of State observed Iran is in “noncompliance with multiple UN Security Council resolutions, including those related to al-Qaida, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Somalia.”
“The Council must address these malign activities,” Pompeo said. “It cannot reward Iran by lifting the arms embargo.”
The secretary also defended the U.S. decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, observing that rather than moderating the regime as the deal’s proponents foresaw, the deal actually “shielded the Islamic Republic of Iran from the accountability to the risks it presents to the world.” Iran, he added, “is pursuing the same destructive, revolutionary goals that it has for the past 39 years.”
While pressing for a tougher approach to Iran, Pompeo nonetheless offered that if Iran would make “a fundamental strategic shift and honors these demands, we are prepared to ease our pressure campaign,” the U.S. would welcome Iran’s participation in the international economic system.
[Photo: U.S. Department of State / Facebook ]