Danon demands UN take action after failed Iran missile test

Israel’s U.N. envoy warns that unchecked Iranian attempts to create ballistic missiles endanger the entire region as well as “Europe and beyond.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon is demanding that the world body move to stop Iran from developing intercontinental ballistic missiles following its unsuccessful attempt to launch a satellite-carrying rocket into space last week.

The Space Launch Vehicles (SLV) that are used for satellites contain technology similar to ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Danon called its use “a clear violation of Security Council Resolution 2231” in a statement Saturday night.

“Iran is a rogue state violating international law,” he said. “It blatantly defies the calls of the international community, and by doing so, cynically threatens the stability of our region, Europe and beyond. I call on the Security Council to join the nations and unions of states that have already taken measures to curb the threat of Iranian missiles, especially those capable of carrying nuclear weapons.”

In 2015, UNSC Resolution 2231 endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, which removed crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic. According to the resolution, Iran will “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

The U.S. pulled out of the JCPOA last May, with President Donald Trump calling it “the worst deal ever.” The other signatories – the U.K., Russia, France, China and Germany – did not withdraw.

The European allies have protested Iran’s ballistic missile activity to the U.N. Security Council, including in March 2016, when Iran test-launched a series of short- and medium range missiles. These tests were “in defiance of” Resolution 2231, they noted.

France joined Israel in condemning last week’s launch. “The Iranian ballistic program is a source of concern for the international community and France. We call on Iran not to proceed with new ballistic missile tests designed to be able to carry nuclear weapons, including space launchers, and urge Iran to respect its obligations under all U.N. Security Council resolutions,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.

Iran has steadily refused to curb its satellite program, claiming that it does not violate any U.N. resolutions, and said it would be ready to for a new missile launch in the coming months.

On Tuesday, the Security Council is scheduled to meet on the Middle East. While the subject is usually the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Danon is planning to use the opportunity to address the ballistic missile threat.