NEW YORK: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the US is seeking to re-impose previous UN restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, and that the UN should not lift an arms embargo on Iran in 2020.
A 2015 UN resolution "called upon" Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Some states argue that the language does not make it obligatory.
The US wants the council to toughen that measure, Pompeo said, to reflect language in a 2010 resolution that left no room for interpretation by banning Iran from "activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology."
He said the UN should also establish "inspection and interdiction measures, in ports and on the high seas, to thwart Iran's continuing efforts to circumvent arms restrictions."
He added that Iran does not comply with UN resolutions and continues to support terrorism around the world and that the US has evidence that Iran is supplying the Houthis in Yemen with missiles and weapons.
"Iran is harboring Al-Qaeda, supporting Taliban militants in Afghanistan, arming terrorists in Lebanon, facilitating illicit trade in Somali charcoal benefiting Al-Shabaab, and training and equipping Shiite militias in Iraq," he said.
Pompeo said that the US’s continued “goodwill gestures” had been “futile in correcting Iran’s missile activity” and its “destructive behavior.”
Eight EU nations underlined their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal while urging Tehran to stop its "destabilizing regional activities," especially the launch of ballistic missiles.
Their statement said: "It has been confirmed that Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments."
But they warned that ballistic-missile-related activities including "the launch of nuclear-capable missiles and any transfers of missiles, missile technologies and components" would violate Security Council resolutions.
Ambassadors of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and United Kingdom issued the statement outside the UN Security Council on Wednesday ahead of a meeting on Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement and the council resolution endorsing it.