‘Iran’s Behavior Hasn’t Significantly Changed’ Since Nuclear Deal, Tests Ballistic Missiles For Fourth Time Since Signing

Just two days before the first anniversary of the signing of a nuclear deal between Iran and other leading world powers, the Islamic Republic attempted its fourth ballistic missile test since signing the agreement. The test was proclaimed as an indication that “Iran’s behavior hasn’t significantly changed” since the signing of the touted nuclear deal and that the country is responsible for continued instability in an already unstable region. Iran’s test failed but proves that the nation is not willing to step back its ballistic missile testing, which is in strict violation of UN Resolution 2231.

The Daily Mail reports that Iran is scoffing at regulations in the UN Resolution 2231 that bars Iran from undertaking “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” The latest test took place on July 11, just two days before the nuclear deal anniversary. The ballistic missile in question was a product of North Korea and is further proof of Iran’s ties with dictator Kim Jong-Un.

North Korea has also been heavily criticized for its ballistic missile testing, but after five attempts, the communist nation’s efforts finally proved successful. North Korea successfully launched a ballistic missile into space, which resulted in an immediate response by the United States and South Korea. The U.S. has initiated THAAD, an anti-ballistic missile technology, in South Korea in response.

Four unsuccessful attempts to launch North Korean missiles in Iran have been identified, so many officials around the globe are concerned about the potential for the Islamic Republic to obtain missiles with the capability to reach U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East as well as the implications of the missiles on Israel. If Iran successfully tests the North Korean ballistic missile, the country would have the potential to launch within a range of 2,500 miles. This puts Israel and U.S. troops in the Middle East in the potential line of fire.

According to Fox News, Iran is specifically barred from ballistic missile testing for eight years following the signing of the nuclear deal.

“Iran is barred from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years under UN Resolution 2231, which went effect July 20, 2015, days after the nuclear accord was signed.”

However, not even a year after signing the agreement, Iran has already tested ballistic missiles four times. This has led many military officials in the United States to worry about the nation’s behavior and commitments. Gen. Joseph Votel says that the testing remains a concern in the region.

“Iran’s behavior hasn’t significantly changed as a result of the nuclear agreement. They continue to pursue malign activities, and they continue to foment instability in areas where we need stability so I remain concerned about that continued behavior.”

Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says that the tests are “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal. The United Nations will discuss potential actions against Iran for their continued testing of ballistic missiles but it is unclear if anything will actually happen to the nation as China and Russia have been more reserved in condemning the missile testing.

Despite the concerns, Iran has shown no signs of slowing its ballistic missile tests, noting that it is their right as a nation to create “defense” programs such as these. However, many note that the tests do not appear to be defensive, as one missile launched back in March had the words “Israel must be wiped out” scrawled on the side in Hebrew.

What do you think about Iran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles despite the signing of the nuclear agreement? Should sanctions be issued for the violations of the UN Resolution?

[Photo by Fars News Agency, Omid Vahabzadeh/AP Images]