Netanyahu, Pompeo meet to talk Iran

Erika Holt
December 6, 2018

Delivering a foreign policy speech to diplomats in Brussels, Pompeo blamed Iran and China for instability in the world, and said the us was committed to peace and prosperity, Reuters reported.

Iran said on Sunday it would continue missile tests to build up its defences and denied this was in breach of United Nations resolutions following USA allegations that Tehran had tested a new missile capable of carrying multiple warheads.

US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook rejected Iran's insistence that its missile program is defensive.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran's test of "a medium range ballistic missile that's capable of carrying multiple warheads ... violates UNSCR 2231".

The United States is calling on the European Union to enact its own set of sanctions targeting Iran following Tehran's test of a missile this past weekend.

And while Pompeo claimed the test violated United Nations resolution 2231, the launch does not constitute a violation of the United Nations measure, according to the language of the resolution.

"We do not believe that Iran violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which contains only a call - not a ban, as our Western partners say - to Tehran to refrain from activities related to launches of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles", the Russian diplomat said. The recent launch represents an escalation and Iran declared last week that it will continue to develop its missile capabilities, aiming for longer range and more destructive weapons.

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He made the remarks in reaction to comments made by the officials of certain Western countries as well as a request by the United Kingdom and France for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Islamic Republic's missile program. "Iran's continued testing and proliferation of ballistic missiles shows that the Iran deal has not moderated the Iranian regime as some had hoped".

Hook said USA discussions with the Europeans about missile sanctions are gaining traction. "This is outside the framework of [nuclear] negotiations and part of our national security, for which we will not ask any country's permission", Shekarchi said.

The ballistic missile test and Iran's public admission have put the European Union in a hard spot, as it has been leading its reluctant membership to keep Iran's nuclear deal, which is also governed by resolution 2231.

He also said that "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 program.

Iran was also a topic of conversation when Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday night.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Pompeo's statements "did not accord with the spirit" of the meeting just days earlier between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina. "Iran is on the wrong track and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is created to starve the regime of the revenue it needs to test missiles and proliferate missiles, support terrorism, conduct cyber attacks, [and] conduct acts of maritime aggression".

"The goal of America and its regional allies is, through exerting pressure and economic shortages, to say we have hit a dead end on the threshold of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution", said Zanganeh, as reported by Reuters, citing the oil ministry news agency SHANA. The US is bolstering its military presence in the region, which is already one of the most guarded in the world.

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