Iran’s missile test not violating UN resolution: US expert

IRNA – Iran’s missile tests do not violate the United Nation Security Council Resolution 2231, wrote the director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Mark Fitzpatrick argued on Monday that the gravity of Iran’s December 1 medium-range ballistic missile test has been exaggerated by the Trump administration.

‘US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the missile launch, claiming, incorrectly, that it was a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015),’ wrote Fitzpatrick.

Saying that the test ‘was not a ‘violation,” he added, ‘Unlike past resolutions, which mandated no such missile testing by Iran, Resolution 2231 only ‘calls upon’ Iran not to test missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.’

‘State Department lawyers would surely have advised Pompeo not to say so, unless, it being a Saturday, he winged it without any vetted talking points.’

Referring to another instance of Washington’s empty accusations against Iran, he referred to allegations made by the US at a review conference of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) last month that Iran maintains an undeclared offensive chemical-weapons program.

‘Amplifying the missile threat, Pompeo said the MRBM tested on 1 December could hit parts of Europe and carry multiple warheads. For Europeans, this may sound scary. Keep in mind, however, that these two attributes offset one another: the more warheads, the greater the weight and thus the shorter the range.’

He wrote the missile in question appears to have a maximum range of 2,000–2,200km when carrying a 1,000kg payload. It might be able to reach Eastern Europe, but ‘there is no reason for citizens in that corner of Europe to fear an attack from Iran.’

‘There is one more contradiction in the claim that Iran’s missile test violated Resolution 2231. Has Washington forgotten that the resolution also ‘calls upon’ all member states to refrain from actions that undermine the implementation of commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal? Anybody who claims Iran is violating the resolution also has to conclude that, by pulling out of the accord, so is the United States.’

Mark Fitzpatrick is Executive Director of IISS–Americas, responsible for representing the institute in the Western Hemisphere. He also heads the IISS Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program.