UN: Iran violated sanctions with October missile test

Published December 16th, 2015 - 01:30 GMT

Iran violated international sanctions when it fired a medium-range ballistic missile in October because it was capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, the United Nations said.

A UN Security Council panel said the Emad Iranian rocket fired Oct. 10 was large enough to carry weapons of mass destruction, violating parts of a 2010 resolution, a UN statement released late Tuesday said. The Iranian surface-to-surface missile test came on the heels of the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement.

The nuclear deal, created in July, was designed to curb Iran's nuclear program. The Security Council panel could not reach a conclusion on whether Iran participated in a "willful violation" when it conducted the missile test and other resolution violations -- including Iran's attempt to gather Grade 5 titanium alloy bars earlier this year.

The security council has not determined what actions to take, if any, against Iran, but said "the council could not allow Iran to feel it could violate its resolutions with impunity."

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the Security Council president for December, "emphasized that the United States, firmly condemning those violations, would work with partners to ensure that United Nations measures were better enforced," the UN statement reads.

"It would seize Iranian arms exports, in line with international law, hold Iran accountable for violations and continue to bring violations to the council's attention," the UN statement adds.

Power "rejected the notion that countries raising the matter of such violations in the council were responsible for destabilizing" the Iranian nuclear agreement, adding that "council members seeking a council response to such violations were not the rule breakers."

On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the world's nuclear regulatory watchdog, voted to halt its yearslong investigation into Iran's past nuclear activity in favor of moving forward with the accord reached this year between Tehran and six Western powers -- including the United States.

The IAEA, a 35-nation member agency, had been looking into Iran's nuclear program over the past decade to determine if the Islamic nation was pursuing atomic weapons. Tuesday, though, the agency's board of governors voted unanimously to stop the probe.

By Andrew V. Pestano

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