Russia jumps in to save Iran after Ballistic Missile Test
MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday said that a reported ballistic missile test by Iran does not breach United Nations’ resolution on Tehran’s nuclear programme, after the US requested emergency UN consultations.
“Such actions, if they took place, do not breach the resolution,” Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax news agency, saying demands for UN talks were made to ‘heat up the situation.’
The UN Security Council will hold talks on Tuesday on Iran’s test-firing of a medium-range missile after the United States requested the emergency meeting following a call from Israel for action.
Ryabkov said that Moscow had not confirmed the missile test took place. US President Donald Trump has promised to strengthen ties with Israel while criticising Iran’s nuclear deal that led to a lifting of many international sanctions against Tehran.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the United States against ‘creating new tensions’ with Tehran over ballistic missile tests.
Russia co-signed the nuclear deal and enjoys good ties with Tehran, which is fighting alongside Moscow’s forces in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad.
The Kremlin is also, however, looking for better ties with the US after Trump pledged to boost relations after they slumped to their worst level since the Cold War over the Ukraine crisis.
The Security Council resolution, adopted a few days after the 2015 nuclear agreement, bars Iran from developing missiles ‘designed to carry nuclear warheads.’
Iran has said its missiles would never carry a nuclear warhead as it has no plans to develop atomic weapons, but military officials have insisted on expanding the country’s missile programme.