In two tweets this past Thursday morning, President Donald Trump echoed the words of his National Security Director Michael Flynn, who told reporters this past Wednesday that “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice” because of its recent ballistic missile test.
Flynn did not elaborate, nor did Trump in his two tweets this past Thursday, as follows:
“Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.”
And: “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!”
This past Thursday’s tweets follow one on Wednesday, in which Trump said: “Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago!”
The tweets follow confirmation from Iran’s defense minister on Wednesday that it had carried out a ballistic missile launch and would “not let any foreigner meddle with our defense issues.”
The Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal does not include provisions against missile tests. But the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution last year caling on Iran not to do such tests.
This past Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the world should be “alarmed” at the Iranian ballistic missile test and she said Iran is “being naive” by thinking the U.S. and others accept its contention that it has no intention of attacking any country.
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“I will tell the people across the world that is something we should be alarmed about. The United States is not naive. We are not going to stand by. You will see us call them out as we said we would, and you’re also going to see us act accordingly,” she said.
The Security Council referred the matter to its committee on Iran and asked for an investigation.
This is not the first time Iran has launched ballistic missiles, but it’s the first time it has done so on President Trump’s watch.
The Obama administration brushed the provocations aside. Trump ran for office promising to be much tougher on Iran.
President Trump’s most recent tweet sends off a threatening message directly towards Iran. I mentioned that Russia is a direct ally to Iran and that Syria is being controlled by the Iran government in this public video.
The sanctions, coming in the first weeks of Trump’s term, reflect his administration’s desire to take a strong stance toward Iran from the start. Throughout his campaign, Trump accused the Obama administration of being insufficiently tough on Iran and vowed to crack down if elected.
It was unclear exactly which entities would be sanctioned. Many sanctions on Iran that had been imposed in response to its nuclear program were lifted in the final years of the Obama administration as part of the nuclear deal the U.S. and world powers brokered. Some of those penalties could be re-imposed under separate sanction authorities unrelated to nuclear issues.
That prospect raises the possibility of a fresh confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, which has forcefully argued that it considers any new sanctions a violation of the nuclear deal. The U.S. has maintained that it retains the right to sanction Iran for other behavior such as supporting terrorism.
Trump’s team stepped up its rhetoric against Iran over ballistic missile tests and a recent attack on a Saudi naval vessel by Tehran-backed militants.
Military officials told Fox News that Iran actually has conducted two recent missile tests, one on Dec. 6 and another this past Sunday.
U.N. resolution 2231 calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct such tests. The resolution bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and went into effect on July 20, 2015, days after the landmark nuclear deal was agreed to in Vienna.