WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States warned Tuesday that Iran s latest reported missile test would be in breach of UN resolutions and that Washington could take the matter to the Security Council.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said he could not confirm Iranian state media s claim that Iran had conducted multiple tests, but warned Washington might take unilateral or international action in response.
Kirby said however that the tests would not constitute a breach of the Iran nuclear deal, despite this agreement having been enshrined in international law under the same resolution, UNSC 2231, that banned missile tests.
“I do want to make it clear that such tests, if they are true, are not a violation of the JCPOA,” he said, referring to the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” — the nuclear deal implementation mechanism.
“We have and we will use unilateral and multilateral tools to address this. If these latest reports are true, we ll take them up appropriately,” he said.
“We re not going to turn a blind eye to this… I m just trying to get to a technical point here, which is that it s not a violation of the Iran deal itself.”
Earlier, Iranian state media announced that precision guided missiles had been fired from several sites over ranges between 300 and 2,000 kilometers.
In January, Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran s missile program just 24 hours after separate embargoes targeting its nuclear program had been lifted.
Also on Tuesday, some of the United States top military commanders raised concerns about what they called Iran s continued “destabilizing behavior” in the Middle East.
CentCom commander General Lloyd Austin, head of US forces in the Middle East, told lawmakers: “A number of things lead me to believe, personally, that their behavior has not changed course yet.”
Austin cited the continued missile program, Iran s attempts to develop a cyberwarfare capability, its support for armed militants around the region and Tehran s threat to block the oil export route through the Strait of Hormuz.
And he said Russia s decision to supply Iran with advanced anti-aircraft systems and shore-defense cruise missiles is also a concern, despite a similar build-up by US allies on the other side of the Gulf.