Israel is urging the world to take action after a US official said Monday that Iran carried out a test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile over the weekend, seemingly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, which forbids the Islamic Republic from carrying out such tests for a period of eights years.
The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on the test at the request of the United States. The US request came after Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called for the meeting, saying of the test, “This aggression is not only directed toward Israel, it is directed toward the entire Western world.”
New US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was expected to take part in the Security Council talks. The call for the meeting was the first such request that the US has made since Haley was confirmed for her post last week.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that in light of reports of the Iranian ballistic missile test, one of the issues he will raise with US President Donald Trump during their meeting on February 15 will be the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. He said it is forbidden that Iranian “aggression” go without a response.
Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told Army Radio on Tuesday that “there is no doubt that further sanctions on Iran are needed,” following the ballistic missile test.
Katz said that not only Iran’s ballistic missile program, but also its entrenchment in Syria and the aid it gives to Hezbollah constitute threats to Israel’s security.
The intelligence minister suggested that the Trump administration, and its stance on Iran, offers new opportunities to thwart Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in the region that endanger Israel.
“The Trump administration – I was briefed on the conversations between Trump and the Saudi king, and other leaders – sees Iran in a negative light. This is a significant development in this region. There are initiatives, and it is possible, to advance initiatives to levy sanctions on Iran to prevent the aid that Iran gives to Hezbollah, preventing Iranian meddling in the region, preventing Iran’s entrenchment in Syria. These are goals that we must promote,” Katz said.
According to a US official speaking on condition of anonymity, the medium-range ballistic missile launched by Iran in Sunday’s test exploded after 630 miles.
The official said the test was carried out from a site near Semnan, east of Tehran. The official added that the last time this type of missile was test launched was in July 2016.
The White House said it was aware that Iran had tested a missile.
“We’re looking into that. We’re aware that Iran fired that missile. We’re looking into the exact nature of it, and I’ll try to have more for you later,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said during a press briefing.
Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned Iran on Monday and said he would work with other lawmakers and Trump’s administration to hold Iran accountable.
On Tuesday, Iran said that the ballistic missile tests carried out by the country were neither part of a nuclear agreement with world powers, or the UN Security Council resolution endorsing the deal.
Neither confirming or denying US accusations that Iran had carried out a missile test on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Iran would never use missiles made in Iran to attack another country.
Zarif also said that such tests were not part of any United Nations resolution ratifying accord.
“The missiles aren’t part of the nuclear accords. Iran will never use missiles produced in Iran to attack any other country,” said Zarif, speaking at a joint news conference held with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. “No Iranian missiles have been produced to carry nuclear warheads.”
Ayrault told reporters at the conference that France had made clear its concerns over the Iranian ballistic missile test, adding that it harmed the international community’s confidence in Iran and contravened UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on the Jerusalem Post.
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