The United States and three of its European allies have urged the United Nations to send "a clear message to Iran" in response to its recent launch of a satellite-carrying rocket, which the Western powers described as having a "destabilizing effect in the region"
In a letter to the UN Security Council on August 2, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the launch "represents a threatening and provocative step by Iran."
Her letter, written on behalf of the United States, France, Germany, and Britain, called on the council to "discuss appropriate responses" against Tehran for its "provocative action."
The letter said the launch was not consistent with a UN resolution that endorsed a 2015 accord between Tehran and six world powers, including the United States, which agreed to limit its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs in exchange for sanctions relief.
Russia's new ambassador to the UN disagreed, however. Vasily Nebenzya told reporters in New York on August 2 that Russia does not consider the launch to be a violation of the nuclear agreement with Iran, the TASS news agency reported.
Iran on July 27 launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket to date, the "Simorgh."
U.S. officials said that this type of technology is inherently designed to carry a nuclear payload, and the Pentagon said the technology can be used to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Haley's letter came on the same day that President Donald Trump signed new legislation imposing further sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi assailed the sanctions as an attempt by the United States to sabotage the nuclear agreement.
"We will not react with countermeasures," Araqchi said. "Instead, we will refuse to be drawn into this game and proceed with a level head."
With reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and TASS