Iranian missile test sends ‘worrying message’, says France

Paris, Oct 15 (IANS) Iran’s recent test of a long-range missile sent a “worrying message” to the international community over Tehran’s nuclear plans and violated UN resolution, the French foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“France has taken notes with concern of Iranian testing of a ballistic missile,” foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily e-briefing.

“The October 11 launch constitutes a clear violation of this resolution (1929). It is a worrying message from Iran to the international community,” he added.

The UN Security Council resolution 1929, which dates from 2010, prevents Iran from testing ballistic missiles aimed to deliver nuclear weapons.

“Resolution 1929 will stay in place until confirmation by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), which should give its opinion at the start of 2016, on the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments,” Nadal said.

After a long deadlock, world’s six major countries – China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and the US – along with Tehran, agreed on July 14 this year an accord to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme would remain exclusively peaceful.

Once the deal takes effect, “Iran will be called upon not to undertake any activity on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons,” according to Nadal.

The West wants Iran to significantly scale back its nuclear programme to address their concern over proliferation risk, while Iran insists that its nuclear right is inalienable.

Iran successfully test-fired a long-range missile on Sunday. Designed and manufactured by Irani experts, “Emad” is Iran’s first long-range missile “that can be guided and controlled until hitting the target,” Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehqan said.

Iran has the largest ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East and has developed a 2,000-km range missile.

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