Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Iran had test-fired a medium range ballistic missile capable of carrying several warheads.
The test violated a Security Council resolution that calls on Iran not to pursue “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
The missile has the ability to hit parts of Europe and any location in the Middle East, the secretary said.
“We condemn these activities,” Pompeo said, “and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities relating to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
On Sunday, a senior Iranian official said the country’s missile program was not in breach of U.N. resolutions.
“Iran’s missile program is defensive in nature… There is no Security Council resolution prohibiting the missile program and missile tests by Iran,” state news agency IRNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.
Qasemi did not confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a new missile test.
Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and denied its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads.
The resolution makes no distinction between an “offensive” weapon and a “defensive” weapon. The idea that a nuclear-tipped missile would be “defensive” in nature is absurd, but there are Iranian apologists in the U.S. who back Tehran up.
The language of the U.N. Security Council Resolution “calls on” rather than “forbids” Iran from testing its missiles, according to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council. The very U.N. resolution that Pompeo cited is also the very nuclear deal the Trump administration withdrew from earlier this year, Parsi added.
“We had a functioning deal and you may not have agreed with all the contents of it but it actually contained this conflict,” he said. “Trump came in, ripped it up and now we are seeing more missile tests, we’re seeing escalation and we are seeing a drift towards war.”
Actually, that was one of the biggest deficiencies in the nuclear deal — that it didn’t cover Iran’s ballistic missile program. Parsi, a pro-regime hustler in Washington, is trying to distract from Iran’s violation by shifting the blame to Trump. It doesn’t pass the smell test.
The Iranian ballistic missile program keeps chugging along, making progress toward the perfection of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could strike anywhere in the world, including the U.S. They are still a few years away from achieving that goal. But the question is, do we stop them before they reach that point or allow them to present us with a fait accompli?