06:56 GMT13 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will work with UN Security Council members to reimpose ballistic missiles restrictions on Iran next year, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Wednesday.

    "The United States seeks to work with all other members of the Council to reimpose on Iran the ballistic missiles restrictions outline in 2019", Pompeo said at a Security Council meeting.

    Previously, Tehran refuted his claim that Iran had test-launched a nuclear-capable medium-range ballistic missile in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

    READ MORE: Tehran Will Never Make Nuclear-Capable Missiles — Iranian Foreign Ministry

    Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Abolfazl Shekarchi said that the Islamic Republic would continue to conduct missile tests without asking other countries for permission, stressing that the missile test had been aimed at ensuring the country's defence in relation to national security.

    Iranian Arms Trade

    Commenting on the tensions between Tehran and Washington, Pompeo stressed that the Council should set up inspection mechanisms in ports and high seas to prevent Iran's ability to bypass the arms embargo.

    "We also call on the Council to establish inspection and interdiction measures in ports and on the high seas to thwart Iran's continuous efforts to circumvent the existing arms restrictions", he told the Security Council.

    READ MORE: Middle East Turned Into 'Tinderbox' by US Arm Sales — Iranian Foreign Minister

    The US, Israel, and other countries consistently accused Tehran of attempts to control the situation in the region by transferring weapons to proxy groups across the Middle East.

    No Direct Evidence to Blame the Saudi Royal Family

    Pompeo also addressed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, stressing that there was no direct evidence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in the incident.

    "The direct evidence is not yet available. It may show up tomorrow, it may have shown up overnight and I have not seen it", Pompeo told Fox News in an interview.

    Pompeo and Secretary James Mattis are expected to brief House lawmakers on Thursday on the Khashoggi killing, Saudi Arabia and the war in Yemen. Pompeo said he and Mattis would emphasize during their testimony that Khashoggi's murder was "tragic," but would also highlight the importance of the US relationship with Saudi Arabia.

    "We are going to say to the House what we’ have said to the American people. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a tragic incident, it was heinous," he said, before adding: "America has an important ally in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They work with us on issues that provide security for America and for Israel. It is an important relationship with the kingdom".

    READ MORE: Israeli Government Okayed Spyware Sale to Saudis to Track Khashoggi — Reports

    Pompeo emphasized that the United States has already held a number of individuals accountable for the killing by imposing sanctions on them. He pledged to continue developing facts and identify all of those responsible for the murder.

    Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After weeks of denials, the Saudi chief prosecutor admitted that the US-based columnist had been killed and dismembered inside the diplomatic mission.


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    weapons, missile program, sanctions, Jamal Khashoggi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mike Pompeo, Saudi Arabia, Iran, United States
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