National Security Adviser Mike Flynn announced Wednesday that the Trump administration is putting Iran on notice for the recent ballistic missile test and an attack on Saudi naval vessel by Tehran-backed militants.
The implications of the notice are still unclear, as Mr. Flynn didn’t clarify whether the U.S. will take any other action beyond the verbal warning. Senior administration officials said in the briefing that the U.S. is still in the stage of determining what course of action could be taken and no option could be taken off the table when asked if military intervention was one of the options.
Mr. Flynn said in reference to Iran’s Nuclear Deal that the regime “was feeling emboldened” rather than being thankful to the U.S. for “various agreements.”
Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room and also issuing a written statement, Flynn said, “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” He also blasted Iran’s “destabilizing behavior,” claiming the recent missile launch was a “provocative” breach of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Sunday’s missile test was not a breach of U.N. Security Council resolution and it was “solely done for defense purposes.” The resolution bars Iran from testing ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Iran’s Defense Minister, Hossein Dehghan defended Sunday’s missile test after the U.S. called an urgent meeting to discuss the issue at the U.N. Security Council.
President Barack Obama’s administration enacted financial sanctions on 11 people and companies involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program one year ago after the country conducted two test launches of ballistic missiles.
These sanctions came after the U.N. determined that those launches were in violation of the Security Council resolution. It should be noted that the U.N. Security Council resolution is not part of the Iran Nuclear Deal, but a separate measure by the Security Council.
Mr. Flynn did not signal any action – military or diplomatic – to counter Iran’s “provocative” actions, but he did pointedly criticize the Obama administration for failing to “respond adequately” to Iran’s provocative behavior.
Here’s part of Mr. Flynn’s statement:
“The Obama Administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions—including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms. The Trump Administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and places American lives at risk.”
The missile test was a failure that ended with missile’s re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, according to a defense official.
Meanwhile, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels carried out the Saudi vessel attack in the Red Sea that killed two Saudi sailors and wounded another three.
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, had said earlier Wednesday that the U.S. wouldn’t “sit by and not act on those actions.”
Trump branded Iran’s Nuclear Deal as the “worst deal ever” during his election campaign, and vowed to either rip it up or seek a better deal.