US wants UN Security Council to meet on Iran missile tests

Friday 11/03/2016
What options are there to slow Iran\'s missile program?

UNITED NATIONS - The United States has asked the UN Security Council to discuss Iran's recent ballistic missile launches during a meeting on Monday, the US ambassador said.

The United States is "deeply concerned" about the missile tests "which are provocative and destabilizing," Samantha Power said in a statement on Friday.

Iran fired two long-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday and similar tests were carried out on Tuesday, less than two months after the Iran nuclear deal was implemented.

Power said Iranian military leaders had claimed that the missiles were designed to be a direct threat to Israel and added: "We condemn such threats against another UN member-state and one of our closest allies."

Under the nuclear deal with Iran that came into force January 16, most sanctions resolutions against Tehran were annulled.

But an arms embargo and restrictions on ballistic missile technology capable of carrying a nuclear warhead remain in place, under Resolution 2231.

Iran has maintained that its missile program is not aimed at developing a nuclear capability.

"We will raise these dangerous launches directly at council consultations, which we have called for, on Monday," said Power.

"These launches underscore the need to work with partners around the world to slow and degrade Iran's missile program," she added.

On Wednesday, Iran fired two Qadr-H and Qadr-F precision missiles fired from launcher trucks tucked in a mountain range in northern Iran, hitting targets about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away in the southeastern Makran area, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said.

A day earlier, state media announced that short-, medium- and long-range precision guided missiles were fired from several sites to show the country's "all-out readiness to confront threats".