Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran's missile program upsets U.S. war tactics

Iran's missile program upsets U.S. war tactics

The US says it needs crippling economic sanctions against Iran to curb its regional influence, which Washington frames as state sponsorship of terrorism.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and denied that its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads, or that the country has any intent of developing nuclear weapons through uranium enrichment.

The United States and Iran traded accusations Tuesday over Tehran's latest ballistic missile test, which the U.N. Security Council discussed behind closed doors without taking any action.

Haley said the missile test was "provocative" and urged the worldwide community not to keep "turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions".

Pompeo said the Trump administration is "boldly reasserting" the kind of USA leadership that helped create the worldwide organizations underpinning the global order since the end of World War II.

"Our support for [the Iran nuclear accord] in no way lessens our concern at Iran's destabilizing missile program and determination that it should cease", Mr. Hunt added. France in particular has bemoaned Iranian "frenzy" in developing and propagating missiles and wants Tehran to open negotiations over its missiles, which Hook said were capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Tehran on Sunday refused to confirm if the missile test had taken place.

Also on Tuesday, the full text of an earlier letter sent to the Security Council by Britain, France and Germany was released in which the three countries said earlier Iranian missile tests were "inconsistent with" resolution 2231.

British Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters that the missile test is "inconsistent" with the resolution, but the United Kingdom wants to know "exactly what happened and then we will reach a judgment about how we want to characterize it".

"As we have been warning for some time, Iran's missile testing and missile proliferation is growing".

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Those US sanctions have targeted Iran's critical oil sector, as well as several major Iranian banks and other industries.

"We condemn these activities. and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities relating to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons", he said.

"Today, Iran is among the world's topmost powers in building missiles, radars, armored vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)", the Iranian defense minister said in an exclusive interview with IRNA, emphasizing that Iran's defense power is meant to send the message of peace and friendship to other nations.

Hook said "progress" was being made on getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to consider a proposal to target individuals and entities that play key roles in Iran's missile programme. As Washington, D.C., moves forward with a bevy of new sanctions on Iran, some European allies have continued to balk the US administration, seeking avenues to preserve the nuclear pact and ensure economic ties with Tehran remain open.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of Iran, welcomed Pompeo's request to sanction Iran's missile programme on Monday.

France's United Nations envoy said there was "widely-shared concern" among the 15 council members related to the launch.

On Monday, Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said Tehran aims to help regular Iranians cope with the economic problems created by United States pressure.

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"We have a legal and religious duty to reduce the income pressure on the people".

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