U.S. Conducting 'Serious Review' of Alleged Iran Ballistic Missile Launch

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This picture, released by Iran's Defense Ministry, reportedly shows an Emad long-range ballistic missile being tested on Sunday October 11, 2015Credit: AP

REUTERS - The United States is reviewing and seeking to confirm reports that Iran launched a ballistic missile last month in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Tuesday. 

"The U.S. is conducting a serious review of the reported incident," Power told reporters after a meeting of the Security Council on unrelated issues. She added that if Washington confirmed the reports that Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile on November 21 in violation of U.N. resolutions, the United States would bring the issue to the 15-nation council and seek appropriate action. 

A Western diplomatic source said last week on condition of anonymity that the test of a Ghadr-110, a spinoff of the Shahab-3 missile, was held near Chabahar, a port city near Iran's border with Pakistan. He said it was a liquid-fueled missile with a 1,900-kilometer range and was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. 

All ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under a 2010 Security Council resolution that remains valid until a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is implemented. Under that deal, reached on July 14, most sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. According to a July 20 resolution endorsing that deal, Iran is still "called upon" to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years. 

In October, the United States, Britain and France called for the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee to take action over a test by Tehran of a nuclear-capable missile that month that they said violated U.N. sanctions. So far, no action has been taken by the committee, though Power said council members would be discussing the issue next week. In Paris, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said France would pay close attention to ensure Iran respects the ban on ballistic missile tests. He did not specifically confirm the launch and officials declined to comment when pressed. 

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