PHOTO: Iranian ballistic missile test in March
Both UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have criticized Iran over its ballistic missile testing and pursuit of nuclear equipment and technology.
In a confidential report leaked to media, Ban said the missile tests “are not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the July 2015 nuclear deal.
Ban said that it is up to the UN Security Council to decide if the launches in March violated a resolution adopted at the time of the agreement between Iran and the 5+1 Powers.
In late March, the US and European powers said the tests had broken the terms of Resolution 2231, as the missiles are “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” They asked Ban to report back on Iranian missile development which could be inconsistent with the resolution.
Russia and China would likely block any Security Council attempt to punish Iran over the launches. Tehran maintains that the medium-range missiles, which traveled up to 1,400 km (870 miles) inside Iran, are not capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
“I call upon Iran to refrain from conducting such ballistic missile launches since they have the potential to increase tensions in the region,” Ban wrote in his first bi-annual report to the Security Council on the implementation of the nuclear deal, including the removal of restrictions.
He continued, “While it is for the Security Council to interpret its own resolutions, I am concerned that those ballistic missile launches are not consistent with the constructive spirit demonstrated by the signing of the [deal].”
The Council is due to discuss Ban’s report on July 18.
Merkel: Iran “In Conflict” with UN Resolution
On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag that “Iran [has] continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council”.
Merkel was speaking about a German intelligence report which claimed Iran made at least nine attempts to acquire technology that could be used for nuclear arms development.
The annual report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the German equivalent of the American FBI, said the majority of the attempts were thwarted through cooperation with German companies. However, the document asserted, “It is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
The report said the Iranian efforts had been to acquire “goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology…at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level”.