French FM: EU could impose sanctions over Iran missile tests

The European Union could impose sanctions on the Iranian regime over its recent ballistic missile tests, France’s foreign minister said on Sunday.

The United States, France and other countries have already said that, if the missiles are confirmed as nuclear-capable, the tests, conducted last week by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), would violate U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.

Asked whether this could trigger sanctions from the European Union, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said: “We condemn ballistic missile tests and, if necessary, sanctions will be enacted.”

The tests are due to be discussed by EU foreign ministers at a meeting on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the latest tests were a clear violation of U.N. Resolution 2231.

In January Washington imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Tehran’s ballistic missile program after a series of tests at the end of 2015.


The U.S plans to raise the issue in U.N. Security Council consultations this week and is urging other countries to help thwart Iran’s missile program.

“The missiles are a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution because they are longer than the distance allowed for ballistic missiles and, because of that, they represent a potential threat to the countries in the region and beyond,” Kerry said.

“We have made it very clear that the missile concerns remain part of sanctionable activity with respect to Iran. If Iran chooses to violate that, they will invite additional sanctions, as we put them in place just a month ago as a result of the prior tests.”

Resolution 2231, adopted last July as U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program were lifted, “calls upon” Iran to refrain from certain ballistic missile activity.