Iran (GPA) – After an alleged nuclear capable missile test by Iran on Sunday, US President Donald Trump went on an early morning Twitter rant against the country, but Iranian leaders don’t seem to care.
Iran’s Weapon Test: What Really Happened
Yesterday, Iran’s Defense Minister, General Hossein Dehghan announced that Iran had indeed carried out a weapons test, which US officials are alleging was a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. US leaders, despite not knowing what exact kind of test was carried out, are already shouting that it was in defiance of previous United Nations agreements.
After admitting to the test Dehghan defended Iran’s right to carry it out, saying “the recent missile test is in line with our plans and we will not let any foreigner meddle with our defense issues.” It’s unclear if Iran actually did violate any restrictions since part of the 2016 UN nuclear deal with the country lifted restrictions on ballistic missile tests in the country.
US leaders seem to be going on a separate UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution from 2015 which “calls on Iran” to not test missiles in very general language. Iran’s Defense Ministry says the missile test doesn’t violate either agreement since it’s a missile intended for defense and not launching a nuclear weapon abroad.
US Overblown Response
The Trump administration responded by “officially putting Iran on notice” according to Secretary of Defense, Michael Flynn. Flynn chastised the Iranian government for the alleged illegal test and a recent attack by the Houthi fighters in Yemen that resulted in the sinking of a Saudi Arabian warship. Although Flynn didn’t go into detail about how the US would retaliate, he did warn Iran that the US was prepared to put a stop to their “destabilizing behavior across the Middle East.”
Again, this is despite the fact that the US doesn’t know exactly what kind of missile was tested or if it was even illegal under the UNSC resolution. Flynn also dragged the conflict in Yemen into the accusations despite the lack of solid evidence that Iran is aiding the Houthis in their fight with Saudi Arabia in any tangible way.
Yet despite all this non-evidence, Donald Trump also decided to personally get in on the saber rattling via Twitter, sending out multiple posts about Iran around 6:30 this morning in D.C. Trump doubled down on Iran being “ON NOTICE,” and said they should’ve “been thankful for the terrible deal the US made with them!” He also said that the country was “on its last legs and ready to collapse” until the US made the deal.
Shortly after Trumps twitter screed, several Iranian officials responded. Long story short, they didn’t seem very threatened by the statements coming from Washington.
Iran Strikes Back
Bahram Ghasemi, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman came out today saying that the US should basically be “thanking Iran for its continued fight against terrorism,” since Iranian backed militias are doing severe damage to groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Instead, at least in the eyes of Ghasemi, “the American government is practically helping the terrorists by claims about Iran that are baseless, repetitive and provocative.”
Ghasemi also assured the international community again of the “defensive nature” of the missile test. He then went on to personally “emphasize the Islamic Republic of Iran’s principled stance that any ballistic missile test by Iran is in full compliance with its absolute rights and international obligations.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s personal adviser on foreign affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati also came out to defend the test and wanted that “This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran. Iran is the strongest power in the region and has a lot of political, economic and military power … America should be careful about making empty threats to Iran.” He also added that “Iran will not ask any country for permission in defending itself.”
By the White House’s own admission, it’s obvious that nobody in the US actually knows if the test violated any UNSC agreements. Iran was guaranteed a right to defend itself in the 2016 nuclear agreement. Trump may prod them on behalf of the Zionists and Wahhabis he’s already cozied up with but this doesn’t change past treaties or the general right to self determination.
Israel is already asking for new sanctions against Iran and the phone calls between Trump and two members of Arabian peninsula royalty have shown he will continue to follow the set path of foreign policy. Iran will continue to hold strong, as they have shown by their recent rejection of the US dollar as a reserve currency. Iran is also now a closer ally than ever before to nations like Syria and Iraq in fighting terrorism, so Trump should be careful what he says if he really wants to stop the spread of jihadis by taking out their greatest adversary.