U.N. Report Condemns Iran for Failing to Comply With ‘Spirit’ of Nuclear Deal

Iranian military exhibition / AP
• July 19, 2016 4:06 pm


The United Nations condemned Tehran in a new report for failing to comply with the "spirit" of the Iran nuclear agreement as the Islamic Republic continues to launch ballistic missiles and send weapons to militias throughout the Middle East.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Iran to cease activities that would further stoke tensions in the region, carefully refraining from calling the missile launches direct violations of the deal or Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear accord.

"While it is for the Security Council to interpret its own resolutions, I am concerned that those ballistic missile launches are not consistent with the constructive spirit demonstrated by the signing of the [nuclear agreement]," Ban wrote in the 17-page report.

Ban also criticized Iran for shipping weapons to Yemen and Iraq. Though he criticized the nation for engaging in improper activity, he lauded Iran for keeping its nuclear commitments.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Tuesday hailed a newly exposed nuclear deal provision that allows Tehran to expand its nuclear program after ten years, the Associated Press reported.

Zarif called the formerly secret document, submitted by Tehran to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a "matter of pride." It details plans to expand the nation’s uranium enrichment program after a decade, halving its breakout time to build a nuclear weapon.

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qassemi, said Monday that the U.N. report was "unbalanced and biased."

Tehran denied accusations that it had shipped weapons to Yemen or Iraq, but defended long-range missile tests as a national security issue. Iran has conducted four ballistic missile tests since signing the nuclear accord with the U.S. and five other world powers last year.

The tests violate a U.N. resolution that bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests capable of carrying nuclear warheads for eight years.

U.S. and Russian leaders also criticized the U.N. over the report, charging that Ban had overstepped his authority.

"The United States disagrees strongly with elements of this report, including that its content goes beyond the appropriate scope. We understand that Iran also disagrees strongly with parts of the report," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the report "politically motivated" and said it contained factual errors.

"Some of the provisions of the Secretary-General’s report have no relation to his mandate, nor to the terms of reference of [the U.N.] resolution or the [nuclear deal]," Churkin said.