In a letter to UN Security Council (UNSC) President Kelly Craft, Iran's Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi rejected claims by France, Germany and the United Kingdom about Iran’s ballistic missile activity being “inconsistent” with a call in an UNSC resolution endorsing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Takht-Ravanchi underscored that Iran’s activities pertaining to space launch vehicles and ballistic missiles “fall outside of the purview or competence of Resolution 2231 and its annexes.”
“Iran is determined to resolutely continue its activities related to ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles, both of which are within its inherent rights under international law and are necessary for securing its security as well as socioeconomic interests,” he pointed out.
The letter echoes remarks by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who tweeted on Thursday that allegations by the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is little more than “a desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of their own JCPOA obligations.”
Latest E3 letter to UNSG on missiles is a desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of their own #JCPOA obligations— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 5, 2019
If E3 want a modicum of global credibility, they can begin by exerting sovereignty rather than bowing to US bullying. pic.twitter.com/QtfZFnLpO5
He also called on Britain, France and Germany to “exert sovereignty rather than bow to US bullying” in order to obtain a “modicum of global credibility.”
Last year, Zarif recalled during his interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency that nothing had been approved or endorsed in UNSC Resolution 2231 about the prohibition of Iran’s missile activities.
European JCPOA Signatories Accuse Iran of Possessing ‘Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missiles’
Zarif’s latest comments followed the three JCPOA signatories’ letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in which they accused Tehran of possessing “nuclear-capable ballistic missiles,” which they claimed run counter to a UN resolution endorsing the Iran deal.
The ambassadors singled out Iran’s test of a Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile in April, claiming that a 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 also asserted that Iran’s recent missile activities “are the latest in a long series of advances in Iranian ballistic missile technology” and “furthermore, Iran continues its proliferation of ballistic missile technology in the region.”
Tehran Denies Possession of Nukes
Tehran has repeatedly stressed that it has no nuclear warheads and that none of its missiles have been designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Iran insists that its ballistic program has a purely defensive nature, which is the most important component of the country’s sovereignty and that the entire matter is non-negotiable.
At the same time, President Hassan Rouhani recently made it plain that Iran is still ready to engage in negotiations regarding its nuclear programme, on the condition that the US scrap its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran Scraps Its JCPOA Commitments
Tehran has been gradually rolling back on its JCPOA obligations since 8 May, exactly a year after the US withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, while reinstating crippling sanctions against Iran’s banking and energy sectors.
Other parties to the agreement tried to find a way to evade the restrictions to keep the deal alive, although Iran has complained that these efforts weren't working effectively.
Signed in Vienna in 2015, the JCPOA obliges Iran to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for the removal of international sanctions.