According to Reuters:
A U.N. Security Council committee is split over whether Iran's missile tests last year violated U.N. sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Australia's U.N. envoy said on Monday.
That division effectively rules out any expansion of sanctions against Tehran over the tests for the time being, U.N. envoys said on condition of anonymity.
Diplomats said it was Russia, backed by China, that refused to declare Tehran's missile launches a violation of the U.N. restrictions, as a U.N. Panel of Experts on Iran said was the case.
As long as the sanctions committee remains divided, it will be difficult for the Security Council to add names of any Iranian individuals or entities linked to the missile tests, Security Council diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
The tests involved the launch of Iranian Shahab missiles in July 2012 during the "Great Prophet 7" military exercises.
"These included launches of the Shahab 1 and 3, Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Tondar missiles, as well as an anti-ship ballistic missile, the Khalij Fars," the Iran Panel of Experts said in its May report to the Iran sanctions committee.
A Russian delegate explained Moscow's position to the Security Council, saying "hasty conclusions not based on facts must be avoided."
A Chinese delegate reiterated Beijing's stance: "We are not in favor of increased new pressure or new sanctions against Iran."The Russians and Chinese feel they were previously misled when voting for a new fly zone over Libya on the basis of protecting civilians, but instead in their view the NFZ's actual purpose was to impose regime change by armed force on the country. Since then, they have blocked any repeat type of measure on Syria and Iran.
Furthermore, the Russians and Chinese have repeatedly voiced their objections to unilateral sanctions against Iran outside the authority of the United Nations. As such, this sort of rejection shouldn't be considered a surprise.
For their part, the Iranians consider these missile tests defensive in nature, in support of their defense doctrine based on deterrence.
Photo: Islamic Republic News Agency