I wish to express my deep concern regarding the malign activities of the Iranian regime, which undermine Security Council resolutions, foster instability in the Middle East and pose a great threat to international peace and security. Iran continues to violate its international obligations, evidenced by launches of space launch vehicles with ballistic missile capabilities, in violation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015).
On 4 March 2023, Iran conducted a launch of the Nahid-1 satellite with the QAEM-100 space launch vehicle. The QAEM-100 project is conducted by the Iranian Shahrud Space Centre under the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force. The launch took place from the Shahrud Space Centre’s facility. The QAEM-100 uses the “Raa’Fe” engine. This engine has a composite material motor case and flexible nozzle with thrust vectoring control and was tested for the first time on 13 January 2022. This engine could be used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missile projects, as admitted by a senior adviser to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Commander, Sardar Ali Bilali, in an interview about the current programme. The QAEM-100 is developed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a United States-designated foreign terrorist organization.
The aforementioned launch is in clear violation of article 3 of annex B to Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), which states that “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology”. The QAEM-100 space launch vehicle incorporates technologies that are virtually identical to those of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Iran’s continued lack of compliance with Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) and its direct threats towards other Member States undermine the Council’s credibility and send an alarming message to the international community. It is important that the Council take steps to enforce the restrictions of annex B in a manner that will deter Iran from these violations. I call on the Security Council to condemn the Iranian regime for its recurring violations of international law and resolution 2231 (2015). It is imperative that the violations described in the present letter, as well as previous ones, be reflected in the report on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), and for the Council to remain seized of this matter in its deliberations.
I would be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Gilad Erdan
Ambassador of Israel to the United Nations.