October 14, 2015

Senators to Secretary Kerry: Did Iranian Ballistic Missile Test Violate International Ban?

WASHINGTON – In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with committee members U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), are seeking a determination from the Obama administration on whether Iran’s test of a ballistic missile on October 11th violated an existing United Nations (U.N.) ban and what the administration’s proposed response would be should Iran conduct a similar test once a U.N. resolution implementing the nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 nations goes into effect.

“We believe it is vitally important that the United States and other world powers immediately address any Iranian violation of international law, particularly as you begin to implement the nuclear agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran,” wrote the senators in their letter to Secretary Kerry.

“Please provide your determination on whether the Iranian missile launch violates UNSCR 1929 and what the administration, both unilaterally and through the U.N. Security Council, plans to do in response. Finally, we would like to clearly understand the administration’s proposed response should Iran conduct a similar ballistic missile test once UNSCR 2231 is in effect, and if such a launch would be considered a violation of UNSCR 2231,” the letter also states. 

The senators concluded, “Together, we must deter Iranian aggression and protect the interests of the United States and our allies, which requires an unwavering commitment to holding the Iranians accountable for their actions.”

A complete copy of the letter is included below and in the attached document.

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We write to you regarding Iran's October 11th launch of a ballistic missile. The test launch appears to violate United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929; specifically that “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology...” We believe this could potentially be the sixth such violation of this resolution by Iran since it was adopted in 2010 and it is especially troubling that this test occurred on the heels of the Iranian Parliament's approval of the JCPOA. 

We believe it is vitally important that the United States and other world powers immediately address any Iranian violation of international law, particularly as you begin to implement the nuclear agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran.

Please provide your determination on whether the Iranian missile launch violates UNSCR 1929 and what the administration, both unilaterally and through the UN Security Council, plans to do in response. Finally, we would like to clearly understand the Administration’s proposed response should Iran conduct a similar ballistic missile test once UNSCR 2231 is in effect, and if such a launch would be considered a violation of UNSCR 2231. 

Together, we must deter Iranian aggression and protect the interests of the United States and our allies, which requires an unwavering commitment to holding the Iranians accountable for their actions. 

We look forward to your response.

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