Iran’s tests of ballistic missiles earlier this month were in no way a violation of the P5+1 nuclear deal. That was an admission made by the US State Department almost immediately after the tests. And although officials expressed discontent with the testing, that was indeed their expressed position.
Yet today, the US is claiming that Iran’s test is in violation of the UN Security Council resolution which itself endorsed the P5+1 nuclear deal, saying that any missiles were “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
This is in spite of the fact that officials previously conceded that the missiles were not designed to accept nuclear warheads, and the even more important fact that Iran has no nuclear warheads, nor any program attempting to produce one.
The language of the US letter, backed by Britain, France, and Germany, appears to assert that any advances in missile technology, even for conventional missiles, must be “inherently” illegal for Iran to make by virtue of a ban on nuclear weapons they neither have nor are attempting to obtain.