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UNSC discusses Iran's nuclear program amidst escalating tensions with US

NEW YORK, Dec 12 (KUNA) -- The Security Council will hold a bi-annual briefing on Wednesday on the implementation of resolution 2231, which endorsed the comprehensive joint action plan on Iran's nuclear program.
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary Di Carlo will present the Secretary-General's latest report on the implementation of resolution 2231 The Council is also scheduled to hear similar briefings by the Netherlands Ambassador to the United Nations as facilitator for the implementation of the resolution and further briefing by the Head of European Union delegation tasked with following up on work of the Joint Commission of the Joint European Commission.
Germany is expected to issue a statement as an interested party and a signatory of the Joint Action Plan.
In her briefing, De Carlo is likely to draw attention to some key findings from the Secretary-General's 6 December report on the implementation of resolution 2231, in which the Secretary-General acknowledged the challenges arising from the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Action Plan and the re-imposition of bilateral sanctions against Iran, at the time he noted that Tehran has continued to implement nuclear-related obligations.
The meeting comes at a time of escalating tensions between Iran and the United States, where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement issued on December 1, that Iran violated resolution 2231 after testing on a medium-range ballistic missile.
Three days later, France and the United Kingdom asked to discuss the issue under "any other work", while Iran confirmed that it had conducted a large ballistic missile test on December 1. Iran claimed that its missile program was used exclusively for defensive purposes and that it had no intention of using it to deliver nuclear weapons warheads.
The members of the Council remain divided on whether the missile tests are in violation of resolution 2231. China and Russia have stressed that the restrictions contained in resolution 2231 are not legally binding and that a clear rocket must be designed to deliver nuclear weapons for testing to be a violation.
The resolution calls on Iran not to "engage in any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of producing nuclear weapons." Council members are likely to wish to hear Di Carlo's views on allegations that Iran has violated restrictions on activities or transfers related to ballistic missiles.(end).