Iran’s ballistic missile launch 'of significant concern' - Britain
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday Iran's launch of a military satellite using ballistic missile technology this week was 'of significant concern' and inconsistent with a United Nations Security Council resolution. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Wednesday for Iran to be held accountable for the launch, and said he believed it defied the Security Council resolution.
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday Iran's launch of a military satellite using ballistic missile technology this week was "of significant concern" and inconsistent with a United Nations Security Council resolution.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Wednesday for Iran to be held accountable for the launch, and said he believed it defied the Security Council resolution.
A 2015 U.N. resolution "called upon" Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons following an agreement with six world powers to limit its nuclear programme.
"Reports that Iran has carried out a satellite launch – using ballistic missile technology – are of significant concern and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231," a British Foreign Office spokesman said.
"The U.N. has called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran must abide by this."
Tehran denies U.S. assertions that such activity is a cover for ballistic missile development and says it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons.
In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated Iran's position that its missiles are not "designed" to carry nuclear arms, as required by U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.
"US has been bullying all against UNSC Resolution 2231 since 2017... Neither (Europe or the United States) can lecture Iran based on flimsy misreadings of UNSCR 2231," Zarif said in the tweet. "Iran neither has nukes nor missiles 'DESIGNED to be capable of carrying such horrific arms."
Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was quoted as saying the force planned to launch a new satellite soon.
"The commander (Hajizadeh) noted that the (Revolutionary Guards) is trying to launch the next satellite into space in the not-too-distant future, saying it will be placed into a higher orbit and have greater efficiency," the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported.
A senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday that a declassified assessment of this week's launch determined that it was overseen by Hajizadeh at a site in eastern Iran.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hajizadeh has also been behind other missile launches. Hajizadeh has not responded to the official's remarks.
(Fixes typo in final paragraph)
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Dubai newsroom; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Timothy Heritage)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.