This was not a secret; the US made it quite clear, but apparently not clear enough for the Iran Lobby, who have taken it upon themselves to defend Iran’s test launch of a ballistic missile on Saturday, which was condemned by the US, Britain, and France.
Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads and of striking Europe and the Middle East, amid rising tensions with their “enemies”, and this caught the attention of foreign diplomats who are understandably worried by these events and the impact that it could have on global security.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iran’s test in a tweet, calling on Iran to abide by the United Nations resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal, which Iran is a still a party to, in order to prevent further destabilisation of the Middle East.
Trita Parsi, the founder and former president of the National Iranian American Council, claims that the language of that particular resolution is ambiguous as it actually “calls on” Iran to not test its missies rather than forbidding it outright. The interesting point that Parsi is accidentally making here, as he wrestles with semantics, is that the Iranian Regime should never be trusted to do the right thing when there is any kind of legal loophole. This is a great case for increasing sanctions on Iran and making the agreements stricter.
One might expect Parsi, who claims to care about ordinary Iranians, to condemn the mullahs for their use of ballistic missiles at the expense of the welfare of the Iranian people, but he shows, once again, that he just wants to protect the Iranian Regime at any cost.
While both the Iran lobby and the Iranian regime have objected to any UN restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile programme, it is more than clear that Iran is not developing “defensive” missiles and has moved onto “offensive” weapons that are able to lift nuclear warheads and multiple payloads. This cannot be seen as anything other than an effort to extend its malign influence far outside of Iran.
The key flaw in the nuclear deal, which still includes Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia as signatories, was that it focused solely on nuclear weapons instead of the overall behaviour of the Iranian Regime, including human rights violations and sponsorship of terrorism.
The UN Security Council Resolution 2231 surrounding the deal was the best attempt to rectify this and the remaining signatories should enforce this resolution.
The good news is the Britain and France have raised the issue at the UN already, while British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted: “[I am concerned by] Iran’s test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile. Provocative, threatening and inconsistent with UNSCR 2231. Our support for (the Iran nuclear accord) in no way lessens our concern at Iran’s destabilizing missile program and determination that it should cease.”