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Iran missile launch 'violated resolution'

By Agence France-Presse in United Nations | China Daily | Updated: 2015-12-17 07:53

Iran violated a UN resolution in October when it test-launched a medium-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, a UN panel of experts has concluded in a report that could lead to sanctions.

Britain, France, Germany and the United States had asked a UN Security Council sanctions committee to investigate the launch of the Emad missile on Oct 10, three months after the historic nuclear deal was reached.

"On the basis of its analysis and findings, the panel concludes that Emad launch is a violation by Iran of paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929", said the report presented to the council last week and obtained by AFP on Tuesday.

Adopted in 2010, Resolution 1929 prohibits Teheran from conducting launches of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

"The panel assesses that the launch of the Emad has a range of no less than 1,000 kilometers with a payload of at least 1,000 kilograms and that Emad was a launch 'using ballistic missile technology'", the report said.

The experts said a rocket must be capable of delivering at least a 500 kg payload to a range of at least 300 km to be deemed capable of firing a nuclear weapon.

Iran had denied that the missile launch was in violation of the resolution, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying that it was not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Iran insists it has no plans to develop atomic weapons.

The finding from the panel could trigger moves to impose sanctions on Iran, although such a decision would require agreement from China and Russia.

The two countries along with Britain, France, Germany and the United States took part in successful negotiations on the landmark deal reached with Iran in July on curbing Teheran's nuclear program.

Despite progress on the nuclear track, US Ambassador Samantha Power emphasized that some sanctions will remain in place even after the international agreement is put into motion.

"We will continue to hold Iran accountable for violations of measures imposed by the council," Power told a council meeting.



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