Trump administration puts Iran on notice

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser said Wednesday that the US is “officially putting Iran on notice” following what he called a “provocative” ballistic missile test on Sunday.

“The Obama Administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions,” Flynn said, “Iran is now feeling emboldened.” Flynn also pointed to an attack on Monday by Iran-supported Houthi militants on a Saudi vessel off the coast of Yemen. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman recently agreed to support President Trump’s initiative on safe zones in Syria, and Saudi sources claim the two leaders agreed to increase military as well as economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Intelligence Minister Israel Katz called for renewed sanctions on Iran. The Prime Minister is scheduled next month to meet with President Trump – both of them opponents of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Iran, Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany.

Iran’s Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan confirmed the earlier statement by the the foreign ministry that it tested a missile over the weekend but denied it violated the nuclear deal or UN Resolution 2231 which calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Dehghan said the test was “in line with our plans” and insisted that the country would “not allow foreigners to interfere in our defence affairs”.

EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini’s spokeswoman, Nabila Massrali, told reporters in Brussels that “the Iranian ballistic-missile program was not part” of the 2015 nuclear deal and “hence the tests are not a violation of it.”

“Whether it constitutes a violation is for the Security Council to determine,” she said.

An emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the reported launch has been called on by the US.