Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left this morning to the Belgian capital, Brussels, where he is scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. According to a Jerusalem official, the meeting – which was scheduled last week – aimed at discussing developments pertaining to regional challenges, including the ongoing threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Among others, Netanyahu was joined by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, Israel’s National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat and the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary Brigadier General Avi Blut.
The meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who also serves as Israel’s Defense and Foreign Ministers, among other ministerial posts – with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo – who served in his pervious position as the Director of the CIA – came just two days after the top American diplomat condemned the Islamic Republic for test-firing a medium range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads. According to Secretary Pompeo, the Iranian ballistic missile test was a blatant violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which in-effect: served as the only official document that ratified the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the technical term for the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran. The Secretary of State was referring to the resolution’s Paragraph 3 of Annex B, in which “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.” While Secretary Pompeo did not announce any concrete steps that are aimed at punishing the Iranian breach, the top American diplomat condemned the Iranian regime, and called upon it “to cease these activities.”
In response to Washington’s condemnation, Iran’s top military spokesman was quoted by Tehran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying: “Missile tests … are carried out for defense and the country’s deterrence and we will continue these activities.” General Abolfazl Shekarchi did not, however, confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a test-fire of a new medium-range ballistic missile.