France, Germany and the United Kingdom have written to the UN’s Secretary General, asking him to inform the Security Council of Iran’s actions.

Iranian clerics watch the firing of a Shahab-3 missile during a war game in a desert near the city of Qom (photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian clerics watch the firing of a Shahab-3 missile during a war game in a desert near the city of Qom (photo credit: REUTERS)


Iran’s development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles contravenes a United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Tehran not to develop such missiles, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have said.

Ambassadors from the three nations have urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to inform the council in his next report that the Iranian’s activity in developing ballistic missiles is “inconsistent” with the resolution, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Writing to Guterres, they highlighted footage released on April 22, 2019, showing the test flight of a new Shahab-3 medium range ballistic missile “equipped with a maneuverable re-entry vehicle.”

“The Shahab-3 booster used in the test is a Missile Technology Control Regime category-1 system and as such is technically capable of delivering a nuclear weapon,” they said.

They further noted that a 2015 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency into the possibility of Iran’s nuclear program being directed toward military purposes, “that extensive evidence indicated detailed Iranian research in 2002-2003 on arming the Shahab-3 with a nuclear warhead.”

Responding to the letter on Twitter, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said: “I greatly appreciate the letter sent by the French, British and German ambassadors in the UN regarding Iran’s ballistic missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads long distances. Sadly, this information is nothing new.

“The Iranian regime never ceases in its efforts to attain weapons of mass destruction and the ability to launch them.
The Europeans can also see that Iran is a danger to world peace and the stability of the Middle East.

“It is time to move from letters to actions. It is time to make the sanctions on Iran significantly harsher.”

In their letter to Guterres, the European ambassadors said: “France, Germany and the United Kingdom assert once again our firm conclusion that Iran’s development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and related technologies is inconsistent” with the missile provision in the Security Council’s 2015 resolution to endorse the nuclear agreement.

Basing their assessment on the Missile Technology Control Regime’s performance characteristics, which state that a rocket system would need to be capable of delivering at least a 500-kilogram payload to a range of at least 300 kilometers (185 miles) to be nuclear capable, the Europeans cite four examples of Iranian activity inconsistent with the resolution.

In addition to the flight test of the new Shahab-3 missile variant, they listed:

– The launch of the Borkan-3, “a new liquid-propelled medium-range ballistic missile, traveling approximately 1,300 kilometers,” announced by Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen on August 2, 2019. The missile is a development of Iran’s Qiam-1 missile.

– The launch of a ballistic missile which flew over 1,000km (620 miles), on August 29, 2019, which was reported in the media as the test launch of a Shahab-3 missile.

– An unsuccessful attempt to launch a Safir satellite launch vehicle on August 29, 2019. According to UN experts, the launch vehicles share “a great deal of similar materials and technology” with ballistic missiles.

These activities “are the latest in a long series of advances in Iranian ballistic missile technology,” the Europeans said, adding: “furthermore, Iran continues its proliferation of ballistic missile technology in the region” in violation of the Security Council resolution.

The Security Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss implementation of the 2015 resolution on the Iran nuclear deal, to be held on December 19.

During last year’s meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called upon the council to ban Iranian nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and urged it to maintain an arms embargo scheduled to be lifted in 2020 under the deal.

More recently he called upon the international community to back sanctions against Iran, given their clear contravention of the nuclear deal.

In early November, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced that Iran was currently producing 5.5 kilograms of enriched uranium a day, following the re-deployment of the Fordow enrichment facility, proscribed by the nuclear deal. He has also said that they have the capability to enrich uranium up to 20%, far in excess of the 3.67% limit set by the deal.

“Iran’s expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout,” Pompeo said.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post