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UN to hold urgent talks on Iran missile test

Iran Missile Test

The UN Security Council will hold urgent talks Tuesday on Iran’s test-firing of a medium-range missile, diplomats said.

The United States requested the emergency consultations after the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations called for council action.

“In light of Iran’s January 29 launch of a medium-range ballistic missile, the United States has requested urgent consultations of the Security Council,” the US mission said in a statement.

The talks on Iran will follow a meeting on Syria scheduled for 10:00 am (1500 GMT).

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said the missile test violated UN resolutions that bar Iran from launching ballistic missiles that could have a nuclear capability.

“The international community must not bury its head in the sand in the face of this Iranian aggression,” said Danon.

“The Security Council members must act immediately in response to these Iranian actions which endanger not only Israel, but the entire Middle East.”

Iran Missile Test

It was the first request for council consultations made by the United States since new US Ambassador Nikki Haley took office.

US President Donald Trump has promised to strengthen ties with Israel and has sharply criticized the Iran nuclear deal that led to a lifting of international sanctions against Tehran.

Trump is due to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15.

A Security Council resolution adopted a few days after the 2015 nuclear agreement bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”

Iran has said its missiles would never carry a nuclear warhead as it has no plans to develop atomic weapons, but military officials have insisted on expanding the country’s missile program.

Britain, France and the United States have sought council action over Iranian missiles launches last year, but Russia and China opposed discussion of possible sanctions that they argued would jeopardize the hard-fought nuclear deal.

The deal reached with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States imposed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions.