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Iran’s October Missile Launch Violated U.N. Ban: Expert Panel


Iran violated a UN resolution in October when it test-fired a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, a UN panel of experts has concluded in a report that could lead to sanctions on Tehran, reported Reuters.

France, Germany, Britain and the United States had asked a UN Security Council sanctions committee to investigate the launch of the Emad missile on October 10.

“On the basis of its analysis and findings, the panel concludes that Emad launch is a violation by Iran of paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929”, said the 11-page report obtained by news agency AFP.

It said the panel considers ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons to be those that can deliver at least a 500 kg (1,102 lb) payload within a range of at least 300 km (186 miles).

Adopted in 2010, Resolution 1929 prohibits Tehran from conducting launches of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

“The panel assesses that the launch of the Emad has a range of no less than 1000 kilometres with a payload of at least 1000kg and that Emad was a launch ‘using ballistic missile technology”, the report said.

Iran had denied that the missile launch was in violation of the resolution, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying that it was not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Iran insists it has no plans to develop atomic weapons.

The two countries along with Britain, France, Germany and the United States took part in successful negotiations on a historic deal with Iran that calls for lifting sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the report would be discussed at a Security Council meeting, later on, Tuesday.

The United States is also looking at reports of a new ballistic missile test on November 24.

According to another report from Reuters, earlier on Tuesday, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation board in Vienna closed its investigation into whether Iran sought atomic weapons, opting to back the international deal with Tehran rather than dwell on Iran’s past activities, diplomats said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the decision to close the investigation into whether Iran once had a secret nuclear weapons program.

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