Report: Iran Doubled Missile Tests In 2018, Possibly In Violation Of UN Resolution
Iran in 2018 more than doubled the number of missile tests it conducted in the twelve months prior, according to Germany’s Die Welt daily. The report, citing documents obtained from Western intelligence services, claims Tehran has this year test-fired at least seven medium-range and five short-range missiles, compared to four of the former and one of the latter in 2017. The paper alleged that some of the tests were of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which many deem a violation of the United Nations resolution that endorsed the 2015 atomic deal. Last week, the Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the issue after United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Tehran of testing a ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in the Middle East and parts of Europe. Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature, although experts highlight the fact that there is little purpose for these arms outside the delivery of atomic warheads. The ambiguity over the UNSC resolution stems from the fact that it only forbids Iran from developing missiles designed “specifically” for nuclear arms, which Tehran maintains is impossible given its repeated denials that it is working to obtain these weapons. The resolution remains in force despite Washington’s decision in May to withdraw from the atomic pact and re-impose sanctions on the Iranian regime.