USA calls for European Union sanctions on Iranian ballistic program

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of regional escalation after Iran conducted a missile test

The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of France and Britain after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range nuclear-capable missile on Saturday, diplomats said.

Bahram Qassemi, a spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Ministry, dismissed Pompeo's claim that the missile test contravenes the United Nations resolution, saying in a statement on Sunday, "The country's missile program is just for defense".

The test violated UN Security Council resolution 2231, which "bans Iran from undertaking "any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology", Mr Pompeo said.

While tensions between the U.S. and Iran remain at an all time high after Tehran test fired a ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads, violating United Nations resolutions, on Saturday.

Hook noted that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration had unleashed a wave of sanctions, including those suspended under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Firing back, the Iranian military said all their missile tests are meant to boost national defense by deterring potential attackers.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during an event at the Concert Noble in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

Iran has long refused to compromise on its missile development programs, recently revealing that the country's missile forces can deliver a payload at a distance of some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).

Iran has become one of the world's missile powers despite the severe western sanctions on it over the past 40 years, Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on Sunday.

US Strategic Command tracked the Iranian missile test using a satellite network that traces ballistic missile launches, a senior administration official told CNN.

The US reimposed sanctions on Iran in November that target its oil exports, banking sector and access to US dollars.

Pompeo has been pressing Germany, France and the United Kingdom to join the USA in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord signed during the presidency of Barack Obama in 2015.

Despite U.S. condemnation of its missile program, the Iranian military affirmed that it will keep conducting tests, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Monday.

"We would like to see the European Union move sanctions that target Iran´s missile program", Hook told reporters aboard Pompeo´s plane as he traveled to Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting.

Netanyahu made an unexpected trip to Brussels on Monday afternoon to meet with Pompeo.

Delivering a foreign policy speech to diplomats in Brussels, Pompeo blamed Iran and China for instability in the world, and said the US was committed to peace and prosperity, Reuters reported.

The remaining five signatories to the nuclear deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - have backed an European Union effort to set up a special payment system in a bid to maintain trade and business ties with Iran.

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