Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Eye on Iran: Iran Tests Ballistic Missile in Defiance of UN Resolution, US Officials Say

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Iran conducted its first ballistic missile test under Donald Trump's presidency, in yet another apparent violation of a United Nations resolution, U.S. officials told Fox News on Monday. The launch occurred Sunday at a well-known test site outside Semnan, about 140 miles east of Tehran, Fox News was first to learn. The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said. Iran defense minister Brigadier Gen. Hossein Dehqan said in September that Iran would start production of the missile. U.N. resolution 2231 -- put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed -- calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct such tests... The U.S. intelligence community was able to identify Sunday's launch due to its robust satellite network. The overhead system can detect the heat signature of missile launches and explosions from bombs being dropped around the world... "Iran's missile tests are an unacceptable act of aggression-something we have seen occur time and again for the last 18 months," Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, CEO of the non-profit United Against Nuclear Iran, responded.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled urgent consultations Tuesday on an Iranian ballistic missile test at the request of the United States. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said it wanted the U.N.'s most powerful body to discuss Sunday's launch of a medium-range missile... Iran is the subject of a United Nations Security Council resolution prohibiting tests of ballistic missiles designed to deliver a nuclear warhead. As part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the U.N. ban was prolonged by eight years, although Iran has flaunted the restriction... Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned Iran for the missile test. "No longer will Iran be given a pass for its repeated ballistic missile violations, continued support of terrorism, human rights abuses and other hostile activities that threaten international peace and security," Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said in a written statement.

A row over U.S. visa bans may further weaken Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's efforts to attract foreign investors to Iran, particularly if it slows the implementation of deals for Western aircraft, officials and analysts said. The deals for 80 Boeing jets and 100 from Europe's Airbus struck last year are seen by Western investors as a crucial test as they seek business in Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal that led to the lifting of most sanctions. People involved in the airline deals say it is too early to assess the impact of the U.S. visa ban but worry that hardening rhetoric in Tehran and Washington can only add to a list of complications that could slow, if not endanger, the jet sales... "It will make people more nervous, more risk-averse, more inclined to wait and see," said a senior Western financier, who asked not to be named. Iranian officials say that even before Trump imposed restrictions on travel to the United States from seven mainly Muslim countries, concerns about what the new U.S. president might do had already put the brakes on post-sanctions business... "The process has been very slow ... foreign investors were very interested to work in Iran, but since Trump's election the process has almost stopped. Investors are worried about possible U.S. punishments if they work with Iran," a senior economy ministry official told Reuters.


Iran on Tuesday warned the United States against "creating new tensions" over its ballistic missile tests as Washington called for urgent talks at the UN Security Council on the issue. The row comes against a backdrop of already-strained relations over US President Donald Trump's travel ban on citizens from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries. The European Union appealed to Tehran to refrain from activities such as the missile tests "which deepen mistrust". But the diplomatic push by the West quickly ran into trouble as Russia said a missile test would not breach a UN resolution on Iran's nuclear programme... "We hope that Iran's defence programme is not used by the new US administration... as a pretext to create new tensions," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a press conference with Jean-Marc Ayrault. Iran says its missiles do not breach United Nations resolutions because they are for defence purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he planned to push U.S. President Donald Trump to renew sanctions against Iran during a visit to Washington next month, complaining that Iran had once more tested a ballistic missile... In a statement on his personal Twitter account, around the same time the White House announced his Feb. 15 visit, Netanyahu said: "Iran again launched a ballistic missile. This is a flagrant violation of a Security Council Resolution." ... "In my upcoming meeting with President Trump I intend to bring up the renewal of sanctions against Iran," Netanyahu said. "Iran's aggression cannot be left without a response."

France vowed on Monday to defend Iran's nuclear deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to tear up, but said it was imperative Tehran abide strictly by the conditions of the accord. Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault arrived in the Iranian capital just as relations between Tehran and the new U.S. leadership were strained by new U.S. immigration orders that the French minister called "dangerous" and said should be revoked... "I'm coming as the defender of the accord, but to be vigilant and explain that they (the Iranians) must be irreproachable," Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after landing in Tehran... Ayrault said that while Tehran had "largely" kept to the terms of the deal, it had pushed the spirit of the accord over the past year by carrying out several ballistic missile tests. "We want this agreement to be respected," Ayrault said... "We will discuss our disagreements, notably on Syria. "We had hoped Iran would be less aggressive in the region," Ayrault said, referring to the period since the nuclear deal.


The armed Houthi movement attacked a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen on Monday, causing an explosion that killed two crew members and injured three others, Saudi state news agency SPA reported. Separately, the Houthis said they launched a ballistic missile at a Saudi-led coalition military base on the Red Sea island of Zuqar between Yemen and Eritrea on Tuesday morning, according to the group's official news channel al-Masira... The attacks signal an escalation to weeks of combat on Yemen's western coast between the Iran-allied Houthis and the coalition backing Yemen's internationally recognized government. "A Saudi frigate on patrol west of Hodeidah port came under attack from three suicide boats belonging to the Houthi militias," the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said in a statement on SPA.

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email press@uani.com.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

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