Iran missile test 'likely violates UN resolution'

WASHINGTON • The United States says that Iran likely breached a United Nations Security Council resolution when it tested a long-range ballistic missile, raising the prospect of recriminations.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday there were "strong indications" that Teheran "did violate UN Security Council resolutions that pertain to Iran's ballistic missile activities".

Iran announced on Sunday it had successfully tested a new domestically produced long-range missile, which it said was the first that could be guided all the way to targets.

A US State Department spokesman said the issue would be raised at the UN, as US President Barack Obama's administration indicated that efforts to prohibit progress on Iran's missile programmes would be increased.

"The UN Security Council resolution actually gives the international community some tools to interdict some equipment and material that could be used to advance their ballistic missile programme," said Mr Earnest.

This, he said, "gives us the ability to work in concert with our partners around the world to engage a strategy to try to disrupt continued progress of their ballistic missile programme".

Separately, a State Department official said the test appeared to have breached UN Security Council resolution 1929, which does not foresee automatic sanctions.

"It does, however, establish a UN panel of experts to investigate reported violations and it directs the Security Council's Iran Sanctions Committee to respond effectively to violations," the department said.

The White House insisted the launch would have no impact on the recent nuclear deal.

"This is altogether separate from the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the rest of the world," Mr Earnest said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2015, with the headline 'Iran missile test 'likely violates UN resolution''. Print Edition | Subscribe