Europe

Berlin 'concerned' over Tehran's missile program

UN Security Council to meet Dec.20 over Iran's compliance with Resolution 2231

Ekip   | 06.12.2019
Berlin 'concerned' over Tehran's missile program

BERLIN

Germany said on Friday it was "concerned" over  ran's missile program, saying it was a violation of UN Resolution 2231 which "calls upon" Iran not to undertake any  activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. 

"We have repeatedly expressed our concern in the past and voiced our opinion that Iran's missile tests in particular were incompatible with Resolution 2231," said German Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Christofer Burger during a weekly government press briefing in Berlin. "The letter of the E3 (UK, France, Germany) deals with the concern  over Iran's rocket program," Burger added.

A letter sent to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by the U.K., France and Germany on Wednesday alleged Iran tested a Shahab-3 missile variant "equipped with a maneuverable re-entry vehicle" that could deliver a nuclear weapon.

Such activity is "inconsistent" with a resolution endorsing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the letter said. Denying the allegation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted the letter was a "desperate falsehood" put out by the European powers "to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum" of their obligations under the nuclear deal. 

The E3 letter surfaced at a time of mounting tension between Iran and the Western powers, with Tehran rolling back its commitments under the deal stepby step in response to Washington’s pullout from the pact last year and reimposition of sanctions on the Islamic Republic that has effectively crippled its economy.

The Security Council is due to meet on December 20 to weigh the state of compliance with the resolution underpinning the nuclear accord.  France, Germany and the U.K. have stepped up their efforts to rescue the Iran nuclear deal amid intense U.S. pressure to abandon the accord as Tehran pledged to restrict its controversial uranium enrichment program in exchange of enjoying full normalized trade relations with the West. 

But Tehran has criticized the three European powers for failing to shield Iran’s economy from the U.S. penalties. The United States and Israel, Iran’s arch enemies, view Tehran’s ballistic missile program as a Middle East security threat. 

Tehran says its missile development activity is purely defensive in nature.

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