Netanyahu demands punishment for Iran missile tests

March 12, 2016  

After two days of extensive ballistic missile tests by Iran last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded on Saturday that the P5+1 powers punish Iran for its development of nuclear-capable missiles and belligerent behavior.

Last Tuesday the Iranian regime claimed it had fired a number of ballistic missiles in tests across the country. It was the first such ballistic missile test by Iran’s military since October of 2015, when a number of Emad (Pillar) intermediate-range ballistic missiles were fired. The weapon, which is capable of reaching Israel can be armed with a nuclear warhead.

In January the US responded with a new set of sanctions on the Iranian regime, looking to hamper further missile development.

On Wednesday Iran’s semi-official Fars news outlet reported that additional missile tests were undertaken, including long-range tests outside of Iranian territory, with missiles reaching the Sea of Oman.

The words “annihilate Israel” were reportedly written on the missiles, and Iranian officials claimed the missile systems being developed were needed “to confront the Zionist entity” and to ensure “its collapse”.

Former Secretary of State and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton condemned the tests on Wednesday, calling for additional sanctions to be placed on the Iranian regime.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon responded by asking that Iran “act with moderation, caution and the good sense not to increase tensions through hasty actions.”

On Saturday night, Netanyahu instructed the Israeli Foreign Ministry to demand that the P5+1 countries responsible for negotiating the Iran nuclear deal implement punitive measures on Iran for its “repeated and gross violations on the missiles issue.”

“This is an important step in and of itself and is also a test of the major powers in enforcing the nuclear agreement,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The P5+1 countries include the five permanent United Nations Security Council members – the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France – as well as Germany.

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