On Tuesday, a senior U.S. arms control official stated that Iran’s missile program is diminishing the Middle East and increasing the risk of a “regional arms race” through the supply of such weapons to armed groups in Lebanon and Yemen.
U.S. President Donald Trump stated that when he withdrew US from a landmark 2015 deal that removed international sanctions against Iran against limits on its nuclear activities that it failed to curb in Iran’s missile program or rein its regional interference.
The United States has blamed Iran of a U.N. Security Council resolution by conducting a ballistic missile test and two satellite launches since December.
Yleem Poblete, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, in a speech to the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament stated that Iran’s missile program is a crucial contributor to increased tensions and destabilization in the region, raising the risk of a regional arms race.
She condemned Iran’s backing of the Houthi movement in Yemen and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. She added that Iran must immediately stop activities related to ballistic missiles devised to be able to deliver nuclear weapons, and stop the build-up of missiles and missile technology to terror groups and other non-state actors,”
She said Iran had offered ballistic missiles to the Houthis that were fired into Saudi Arabia and unmanned aerial systems to Houthi groups that allow strikes against land-based targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
She further charged Iran of “pursuing pharmaceutical-based agents for offensive purposes”, but did not elaborate on it.
An Iranian diplomat dismissed her remarks as “cheap, unprofessional, false, not relevant and pathetic” and charged the United States of “sabotaging” the Geneva forum.