Iran missile tests were ‘in defiance’ of U.N. resolution – U.S., allies

admin   •   March 30, 2016   •   2489

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/MAHMOOD HOSSEINI/TIMA

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016.
REUTERS/MAHMOOD HOSSEINI/TIMA

By launching nuclear-capable missiles Iran has defied a United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed last year’s historic nuclear deal, the United States and its European allies said in a joint letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Iran’s recent ballistic tests involved missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and were “inconsistent with” and “in defiance of” council resolution 2231, adopted last July, said the joint U.S., British, French, German letter to Spain’s U.N. Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon.

The letter said the missiles used in the recent launches were “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” It also asked that the Security Council discuss “appropriate responses” to Tehran’s failure to comply with its obligations and urged Ban to report back on Iranian missile work inconsistent with 2231.

Spain has been assigned the task of coordinating council discussions on resolution 2231.

Council diplomats have said the case for new U.N. sanctions was weak, hinging on interpretation of ambiguous language in a resolution adopted as part of a July nuclear deal to drastically restrict Iran’s nuclear work.

Western officials say that although the launches went against 2231, they were not a violation of the core nuclear agreement between Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Russia, a permanent veto-wielding council member, has made clear it does not support new U.N. sanctions on Iran. Both Russia and China had lobbied against continuing restrictions on Iran’s missile program during last year’s negotiations on the nuclear deal.

The four powers’ carefully worded letter stopped short of calling the Iranian launches a “violation” of the resolution, which “calls upon” Iran to refrain for up to eight years from activity, including launches, related to ballistic missiles designed with the capability of delivering nuclear weapons.

Diplomats say key powers agree that request is not legally binding and cannot be enforced under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which deals with sanctions and authorization of military force. But Western nations, which view the language as a ban, say there is a political obligation on Iran to comply.

International sanctions on Tehran were lifted in January under the nuclear deal.

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ missile battery said the missiles tested were designed to be able to hit U.S. ally Israel. The United States condemned the remarks and Russia said countries should not threaten each other.

The letter said the four Western powers “note with concern that Iranian military leaders have reportedly claimed these missiles are designed to be a direct threat to Israel.”

Several diplomats said the most Iran could expect would be a public rebuke by the Security Council. Under the nuclear deal, the reimposition of U.N. sanctions would only be triggered by violations of the agreed restrictions on Iran’s atomic work.

But a council rebuke could provide a legal springboard for European countries to consider new sanctions against Iran, Western diplomats said.

Last week the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted two Iranian companies for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program, and also sanctioned two British businessmen it said were helping an airline used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

France has also suggested there could be unilateral European Union sanctions against Iran over the launches.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Andrew Hay)

DFA says Filipino crew member of seized oil tanker now released

Robie de Guzman   •   September 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday reported that a Filipino sailor was among the crew members of a British-flagged and Swedish-owned tanker released by the government of Iran after weeks of captivity.

The DFA cited a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tehran about the Filipino sailor who works as the vessel’s Second Officer.

“Ambassador to Iran Wilfredo Santos conveyed to Iranian authorities the appreciation of the Philippine Government for releasing the said Filipino crew member, who is the Second Officer of the Stena Impero, and ensuring the safety and well-being of all crew members of the Stena Impero,” the department said in a statement.

The Stena Impero was captured by Iranian forces last July 19 for accusations of violating international maritime rules while it was passing through international water in the strait of Hormuz.  

The vessel was then brought to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas where it was anchored for more than two months.

In a statement, the management of Stena Impero has confirmed that its vessel has left the Iranian port and is transiting to Dubai for the crew’s disembarkation and medical de-briefing.

“The families of crew members have been informed and the company is currently making arrangements for the repatriation of its valued seafarers at the earliest possible opportunity,” Erik Hanell, president and CEO of Stena Bulk said.

Youth climate activists to world leaders: ‘We’re here to collect’

UNTV News   •   September 24, 2019

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg

Youth climate activists filed an official complaint on Monday (September 23) under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, calling for leaders to protect the children of the world from the peril of climate change.

“The world signed a contract between generations that the present world would leave a world worth inheriting to the future. And today, I want to tell the world you, you are defaulting on that contract and we’re here to collect,” said U.S. teen climate activist Alexandria Villasenor.

Days after millions of young people took to the streets worldwide to demand emergency action on climate change, leaders gathered at the United Nations on Monday to try to inject fresh momentum into stalling efforts to curb carbon emissions.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned governments that they would have to offer action plans to qualify to speak at the summit, which is aimed at boosting the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat global warming.

“I just hope something good will come out of it. I hope it will have a good outcome. But we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst and continue even though if it has a bad outcome,” Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg said.

With climate impacts such as extreme weather, thawing permafrost and sea-level rise unfolding much faster than expected, scientists say the urgency of the crisis has intensified since the Paris accord was agreed.

Over the past year, Guterres has called for no new coal plants to be built after 2020, urged a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies and asked countries to map out how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. (REUTERS)

(Production: Angela Moore, Mike Wood, Catherine Koppel)

‘My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change.’ – UN chief

UNTV News   •   September 24, 2019

Days after millions of young people took to the streets worldwide to demand emergency action on climate change, leaders gathered at the United Nations on Monday (September 23) to try to inject fresh momentum into stalling efforts to curb carbon emissions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned governments that they would have to offer action plans to qualify to speak at the summit, which is aimed at boosting the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat global warming.

“Someone asked me the other day, ‘Doesn’t all of this make you despair?’ My answer was a clear and resounding, ‘No.’ I am hopeful and I am hopeful because of you. This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk. Young people, above all, are here providing solutions, insisting on accountability and demanding urgent action. They are right. My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change,” Guterres said at a climate action summit on Monday.

With climate impacts such as extreme weather, thawing permafrost and sea-level rise unfolding much faster than expected, scientists say the urgency of the crisis has intensified since the Paris accord was agreed.

Over the past year, Guterres has called for no new coal plants to be built after 2020, urged a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies and asked countries to map out how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. (REUTERS)

(Production: Roselle Chen)

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