Monday, 17 December, 2018

U.S. urges Europe to sanction Iran over missiles

Iran becomes world missile power despite sanctions: Defence Minister Iran vows to continue missile tests following U.S. allegation
Pablo Mccormick | 06 December, 2018, 02:11

Iran's military has cited 2,000 kilometers as the current missile range, and said USA bases in Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, as well as us aircraft carriers in the Gulf, were within range.

Haley said the missile test was "provocative" and urged the global community not to keep "turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions".

What to do then about Iran's missile program, given Tehran's declared intention to continue developing and testing its missiles?

The meeting comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran amid reimposed USA 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.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also defended the missile program in a Twitter post on Tuesday, in which he said the UN Security Council resolution which endorsed the nuclear agreement did not ban Tehran from working on missiles.

Iran becomes world missile power despite sanctions: Defence Minister
UN Security Council to meet over Iran ballistic missile test

Pompeo justified the America's withdrawal and renegotiation of worldwide treaties and arrangements such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord as examples of agreements that don't serve the interest of Washington or its allies.

In keeping with pre-established talking points, the USA used the meeting to describe the latest launch - one of approximately a dozen since the nuclear deal went into effect - as an outright violation of the Security Council resolution.

Instead, it says "Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles", language that does not forbid Tehran from testing or make it a violation if it does so.

"We, as France, call on Iran to immediately cease any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be able to carry nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology", he added.

"Missile tests.are carried out for defense and the country's deterrence, and we will continue this", the semiofficial Tasnim news agency quoted Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for Iran's armed forces, as saying on December 2.

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Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is not up for negotiation. "But we also believe, and our information is that the sorts of missiles she test-launched on December 1 go way beyond legitimate defensive needs".

Hook said U.S. discussions with the Europeans about missile sanctions are gaining traction.

Britain, France, and Germany have been talking to Iranian officials about its ballistic missile programme and regional activities at the bilateral level since Trump indicated he would withdraw from the Iran deal in 2017.

"We would like to see the European Union move sanctions that target Iran's missile program", Hook told reporters.

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. The deal was meant to ensure that Iran would not attempt to secretly develop nuclear weapons, an ambition that the country always denied having.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of Iran, welcomed Pompeo's request to sanction Iran's missile programme on Monday.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Pompeo's statements "did not accord with the spirit" of the meeting just days earlier between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.

On Monday, Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said Tehran aims to help regular Iranians cope with the economic problems created by United States pressure.

This pressure, together with more broad-minded pressure from the White House, may serve to amplify the "cracks" that Fox News reported to be showing in the "Iran deal coalition" on Tuesday.

"We have a legal and religious duty to reduce the income pressure on the people".

Shaheen strikes early in New Zealand’s second innings
Shafiq brought up his 12th Test ton with a sharp single off Somerville before falling leg-before to Patel to a straight delivery. Things came to a head when Hafeez was dismissed for a duck in the first over of the innings by Trent Boult.

"The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are".

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