France, Germany and UK say Iran has nuclear capable ballistic missiles

Ambassadors from France, Germany and the UK have again alleged that Iran has developed nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, in a joint letter addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General.

The ambassadors listed four examples of activity indicating nuclear-capable missiles, adding that “Iran’s developments of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and related technologies is inconsistent” with a UN resolution restraining the country from doing so.

The European countries – all signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – have previously written to the UN about Tehran’s alleged nuclear activity, claiming “these activities are the latest in a long series of advances in Iranian ballistic missile technology.”

The newly released letter cites footage of a flight test for a new Shahab-3 ballistic missile, which is estimated to have a range of approximately 965 kilometers.

The letter notes that the Shahab-3 has been equipped with a new maneuverable re-entry vehicle that is “likely to both improve the accuracy of missiles produced in future and enable existing missile stocks to be upgraded, increasing their accuracy.”

The development of a viable maneuverable re-entry vehicle is a significant technological marker which in theory allows a ballistic missile to circumnavigate standard missile defence systems.

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