USA urges Europe to sanction Iran over missiles

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis added later Saturday that "right now the strategic level of threat from Iran is less worldwide than (North) Korea's, but it is certainly significant regionally, and it could grow beyond that if it's not dealt with".

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an worldwide nuclear agreement in May and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, criticising the deal for not including curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles.

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.

The United States is pressing the European Union to consider economic sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles, a senior USA official said on Tuesday (4 December), warning of a wider regional conflict if Tehran's ambitions remain unchecked.

British Ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters that the missile test is "inconsistent" with the resolution, but the United Kingdom wants to know "exactly what happened and then we will reach a judgment about how we want to characterize it".

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The speech, titled "Restoring the Role of the Nation-State in the Liberal International Order", argues that President Trump is not breaking down the world order, but improving it by asserting America's national interests.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the missile test "provocative, threatening and inconsistent" with the resolution and said Britain was determined "that it should cease".

For its part, Iran said Sunday it would continue missile tests to build up its defences and denied it was in breach of United Nations resolutions.

He said the test violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear deal signed by world powers with the Islamic republic.

"It is a grave and escalating threat, and nations around the world-not just Europe-need to do everything they can to be targeting Iran's missile program", he added.

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Hook said "progress" was being made on getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to consider a proposal to target individuals and entities that play key roles in Iran's missile programme.

Iran was also a topic of conversation when Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday night.

There has been anger in Europe at Washington's abrupt withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal - derided by Trump as a failure but still cherished by many in Brussels as a crowning achievement of European Union diplomacy.

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

"Iran is on the wrong track, and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is created to starve the regime of revenue it needs", he said.

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This pressure, together with more broad-minded pressure from the White House, may serve to amplify the "cracks" that Fox News reported to be showing in the "Iran deal coalition" on Tuesday. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.