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Expert Voices

European powers express growing concern about Iranian missiles

Iranian missiles on display at a military exhibition
A weaponry and military equipment exhibition in Tehran on Feb. 7. Photo: Rouzbeh Fouladi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives from the E3 — the U.K., France and Germany — sent a letter last week to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asking him to “report fully and thoroughly on Iranian ballistic missile activity.”

The big picture: The group's request follows recent developments in Iran's ballistic missile program, including the inauguration of two upgraded missile platforms and a failed satellite-launch vehicle test. This effort broadens the focus on the Iranian missile threat to encompass future intentions — especially around nuclear-capable systems — and provides a new vector for joint U.S. and European pressure.

NATO at 70: Checking up on the alliance's health

Portuguese troops mark the 70th anniversary of NATO's founding. Photo: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Washington has this week been toasting NATO, which turns 70 today. Congress greeted NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg with bursts of bipartisan applause, and foreign ministers from the 29 member countries gathered today to reaffirm their mutual support.

The big picture: As former Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis writes in TIME: “Perhaps NATO’s greatest accomplishment is not even its unblemished record of deterring attack against its members but rather the fact that no alliance nation has ever attacked another.”