US urges UN to condemn Iran missile test

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"While [the United States] itself violates [UN Security Council resolution] 2231 - and even threatens to punish those who don't wish to violate it in abiding with illegal US sanctions - it now falsely accuses Iran of violating the very SAME resolution", Mr. Zarif added.

The potential breach concerns United Nations resolution 2231, a provision agreed at the same time but not itself part of the nuclear deal, relating to Iran's missile programme.

The French Foreign Ministry issued a similar call, condemning the Iranian missile test as "provocative and destabilizing".

The meeting comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran amid reimposed U.S. sanctions, and after Pompeo accused Tehran of testing missiles that could carry warheads to anywhere in the Middle East and parts of Europe, in violation of a United Nations resolution prohibiting tests of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

When asked about results of UN Security Council consultations, held behind closed doors on Tuesday, the official spokesman for the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Fyodor Strzhizhovsky, said "the Russian Federation has no information that on December 1 Iran tested a ballistic missile, created to carry nuclear weapons".

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an global nuclear agreement in May and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, criticizing the deal for not including curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles.

Tehran has repeatedly rejected negotiations over its missile program and insists the missiles are only to be used for defensive purposes.

Pompeo has been pressing Germany, France and the United Kingdom to join the USA in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord signed during the presidency of Barack Obama in 2015.

The language of the United Nations resolution "calls on" rather than "forbids" Iran from testing its missiles, according to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Pompeo said Iran had tested a medium-range ballistic missile, violating a United Nations resolution.

"Iran is among the world's top powers in building missiles, radars, armoured vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles", Hatami told official IRNA news agency, reports Xinhua.

He said Tehran's ballistic missile tests and Hezbollah's tunnels are all connected. The recent launch represents an escalation and Iran declared last week that it will continue to develop its missile capabilities, aiming for longer range and more destructive weapons.

The two European nations and permanent Security Council member states have, along with Germany, been effectively torn between the White House's assertive Iran policy and the efforts by the rest of Europe to expand trade relations with the Islamic Republic by keeping the JCPOA in force.

Those US sanctions have targeted Iran's critical oil sector, as well as several major Iranian banks and other industries.

The US says it needs crippling economic sanctions against Iran to curb its regional influence, which Washington frames as state sponsorship of terrorism.

Hook said "progress" was being made on getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to consider a proposal to target individuals and entities that play key roles in Iran's missile programme.

However, diplomacy with Iran is highly sensitive for the European Union because Brussels considers the 2015 pact to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon as the bloc's biggest foreign policy achievement in decades and does not want it to collapse.

Iran was also a topic of conversation when Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday night.

Pompeo's speech came as NATO foreign ministers meet to discuss the latest tensions with Moscow after a naval clash between Russian Federation and Ukraine and with a landmark Cold War arms control treaty hanging by a thread. "He reiterated America's resolve in confronting the totality of the Iranian regime's threats through maximum pressure", the State Department statement added.

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