Russia: No Legal Ban on Iran’s Missile Tests

Iran’s ballistic missiles tests do not run counter to UN Security Council resolutions or violate any international agreements, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and weapons control department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in the wake of reports Tehran had allegedly carried out a successful test of a new ballistic missile having a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and capable of carrying several warheads, Press TV reports.

“There is no ban that might prevent Iran from testing missiles. The previous ban, contained in the UN Security Council resolutions, was canceled to be replaced by a call addressed to Iran to refrain from launching ballistic missiles – not any missiles, though, but only those capable of serving as WMD (weapon of mass destruction) delivery vehicles,” Ulyanov said on Tuesday.

He was referring to UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that canceled earlier resolutions on Iran and effectively turned the JCPOA into international law. Ulyanov believes that at the moment “there is not the slightest reason to believe that Iranian missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead or any other weapon of mass destruction.”

“The deal over the Iranian nuclear program concluded two years ago works. There are no nuclear weapons in Iran. Nor are there any chemical or bacteriological ones. No such charges have ever been addressed to Iran. So what’s the problem?”

The U.S., Britain and France raised concerns about the missile test, claiming that it was inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231. According to the Russian diplomat, “Iran’s missile capabilities have long served as a pretext for creating a European segment of the missile defense.”

“When asked directly if Europe is really afraid of missile strikes by Iran, European partners usually reply with a silent smile. But nobody can explain what’s the basis of the suspicion Iranian missiles are designed to carry WMD. Everybody understands that Iran has not the slightest reason for such strikes. And the missile’s range is not enough. Most NATO members in Europe do not work on such weapons and do not put them on duty. But at least two dozen countries around the world do so, and they have the right for this. No international bans exist,” Ulyanov explains.