Iranian missile testing threatens trust in nuke deal

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After the Iranian Majlis signed off on the Iran nuclear deal on Oct. 13, 2015, there was a decision made by government insiders to conduct a ballistic missile test that garnered heavy opposition and objection from the international community.

This ballistic missile testing, which took place over the weekend of Oct. 10, appears to be in violation of the U.N. ban against Iranian use of ballistic missiles.

Iran started its missile-testing program in the 1980s and its purpose remains unclear. These repeated tests and violations are not new to the public.

Many countries, including the U.S., are engaging in a strategy aimed at disrupting the continued progress of Iranian ballistic missile program. But the effectiveness of this campaign seems limited.

Over the weekend of Oct. 10, Iran again violated the U.N. Security Council resolution that pertains to Iran’s ballistic missile activities.

However, based on an article from The Huffington Post, the Defense Minister of Iran claimed that Iran would not ask permission to strengthen its defense and missile capabilities.

This announcement and action bode ill for expectations for Iran to hold up its end of the Iranian nuclear agreement.

In contrast to the distaste over Iran’s repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council resolution and attempts of covering up its progress on nuclear program, the State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, stated that Iran’s track record actually supports the fulfilled commitments made by Iran in negotiations.

Back on Aug. 11, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the U.S. had achieved 24/7 inspections of the Natanz facility, where the facility reduced 20 percent enriched uranium down to zero and also destroyed the stockpile.

Thus, even though Iran tested its defense and missile capabilities at the risk of destroying any trust held by the international community, we can still find supporting evidence that Iran is restricted and has declined from conducting nuclear tests.

Therefore, technically, these missile tests are not a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

But these missile tests are in violation of Iran’s U.N. obligations and are prohibited by the current United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Soon enough, the permanent members of the U.N. will raise concerns about the incidents, and these will need to be dealt with by U.N. channels.

However, ballistic missle testing is one of many violations of UNSCR 1929, and thus this case could be dealt seriously under the air of the debate on the effectiveness of JCPOA.

Recently, an Iranian state television broadcast “presstv.ir” showed an underground tunnel packed with missiles and missile launchers.

This video is accessible around the world.

There is no doubt that the video is provocative. As Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Aerospace Division, said missiles in different ranges would be used if “enemies make a mistake.”

Although Iran claimed that its ballistic missiles are for legitimate conventional defense purposes, the action indeed violated UNSCRs and may indicate an undergoing replacement of nuclear weapons by the research and development of new types of missiles.

These concerns can affect the Iranian deal.

Currently Iran holds four U.S. citizens: Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini and Robert Levinson, who was last known to be inside of Iran. The hostage negotiation is not a part of JCPOA.

But the State Department is negotiating with its counterpartdepartment in Iran on the safe return of these hostages.

There are still many concerns in front of the launch of Iran deal.

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