The United Kingdom and France, who convened a UN Security Council session to discuss reports of ballistic tests in Iran, have failed to present any evidence demonstrating that UN Security Council resolutions were violated, a spokesman for Russia’s mission to the UN told TASS.
When asked about results of UN Security Council consultations, held behind closed doors on Tuesday, the official spokesman for the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Fyodor Strzhizhovsky, said "the Russian Federation has no information that on December 1 Iran tested a ballistic missile, designed to carry nuclear weapons."
"Also, neither the United Kingdom nor France presented any evidence of this during UN Security Council consultations on the issue," he said.
Dialogue based on mutual respect
The spokesman said Russia had urged the West to engage in dialogue with Iran instead of introducing new sanctions.
Instead of threats and sanctions, the parties concerned should engage in a full-fledged dialogue based on mutual respect," Strzhizhovsky said.
"We do not believe that Iran violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which contains only a call - not a ban, as our Western partners say - to Tehran to refrain from activities related to launches of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles," the Russian diplomat said.
The spokesman added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had confirmed on many occasions that Iran’s nuclear program lacks any military component.
"Also, there is no evidence of Iran creating infrastructure to store and service nuclear weapons," he said.
Members of the UN Security Council have so far failed to reach consensus on whether Iran’s missile test constituted a violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.
Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the UN, said the December 1 missile test was "inconsistent" with the resolution, but stopped short of admitting that it was a direct breach.
Meanwhile, her US counterpart Nikki Haley said in a written statement that Iran’s actions constituted "a violation" of the resolution.
"If the Security Council is serious about holding Iran accountable and enforcing our resolutions, then at a minimum we should be able to deliver a unanimous condemnation of this provocative missile test," said Ambassador Haley.
Iran did not take part in the Security Council consultations. In a statement issued in connection with the closed meeting, the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic mission to the UN stressed that "all ballistic missile related activities of Iran are in full conformity with the relevant provisions of resolution 2231." In Tehran’s opinion, it is the United States’ withdrawal from JCPOA "that is in absolute violation of the very same resolution."
"Portraying Iran’s ballistic missile program as inconsistent with resolution 2231 or as a regional threat is a deceptive and hostile policy of the U.S.," the Iranian mission to the UN said.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Tehran had tested a medium-range ballistic missile in breach of the UN resolution. According to him, the missile in question is capable of carrying multiple warheads. In response to that, Iranian Armed Forces Spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said that the country would continue missile tests to improve its defense capabilities.