U.S. to refer Iran missile test to U.N. over possible violation

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Story highlights

  • White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the launch was likely a violation of a Security Council resolution
  • That resolution is distinct and separate from the nuclear accord reached with Iran earlier this year

Washington (CNN)The State Department said Tuesday it would refer Iran's firing of a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile to the United Nations Security Council for review to determine whether the test violated a U.N. resolution.

"It's deeply concerning that this latest violation does appear to be a violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1929, and we'll obviously raise this at the [Security Council] as we have done with previous launches," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
"We've seen for the past years that Iran has consistently ignored U.N. Security Council resolutions," he added.
    White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday that while the launch was likely a violation of a Security Council resolution, it was distinct and separate from the nuclear accord reached with Iran earlier this year.
    "In contrast to the repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council resolution that pertains to their ballistic missile activities, we've seen that Iran over the last couple of years has demonstrated a track record of abiding by the commitments that they made in the context of the nuclear talks," he said.
    Iran entered a final nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other world powers in July that is focused on restricting Iran's path to a nuclear weapon.
    U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 stipulates that Iran cannot engage in any activities related to ballistic missiles.
    A newer U.N. Security Council resolution, number 2231, implementing the deal and banning Iran from engaging in activities related to ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads is not yet in effect.
    Over the weekend, state-run media reported that Iran successfully test-fired a new precision-guided, long-range missile.
    The Emad (Pillar) surface-to-surface missile, designed and built by Iranian experts, is the country's first long-range missile that can be precision-guided until it reaches its target, said Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, Iran's defense minister.
    The Emad would be Tehran's first precision-guided missile with the range to reach its enemy, Israel.
    Israel is bitterly opposed to Iran's nuclear program, and observers have speculated that it could be prepared to launch pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear sites in an effort to derail their progress.
    Dehqan said after the launch that the Emad would greatly increase Iran's strategic deterrence capability, state media reported.
    "To follow our defense programs, we don't ask permission from anyone," he said, according to state-run news agency IRNA.