A core reason for the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear
deal was the rapid and alarming growth and development of the Iranian regime’s
ballistic missile program, which got a significant bump from the massive
infusion of cash received as a result of the deal.
The origins of the Iranian missile program are well
documented with missile design supplied by North Korea and then aggressively
expanded through a test launch program that became almost a nightly feature on
state-controlled media outlets.
That missile program escalated from testing missiles limited
in range to essentially being theater weapons, to growing until they achieved
intercontinental ranges capable of striking Europe and Asia.
While the Iran lobby and the regime have vigorously
contested the inclusion of ballistic missiles in any existing United Nations
restrictions, the plain truth from the U.S. perspective is that Iran has moved
far beyond “defensive” missiles and instead sought to create “offensive”
weapons with the payload capacity to lift nuclear warheads and multiple
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo emphasized this point in
a tweet Saturday claiming Iran had test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile
capable of carrying nuclear weapons. In condemning the act, Pompeo called on
Iran to cease its missile testing and proliferation activities that threaten to
destabilize an already unstable region.
The regime’s Foreign Ministry countered the tweet,
describing the program as solely defensive, according to a statement carried by
Islamic Republic News Agency. The statement didn’t confirm or deny whether
a test-fire had taken place.
“Iran’s missile program is defensive in nature and is
designed based on the country’s needs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram
Ghasemi was quoted as saying.
But the regime’s continued development of longer-range missiles
with heavier payload capacity can only be seen as offensive in nature and an
effort to deploy its coercive influence far from its own borders.
In the history of arms control, no one would ever believe
claims by the American or Russian governments that its own ballistic missiles
were solely for “defensive” purposes, but the regime and Iran lobby seem intent
on trying to make that silly notion fly.
Even after giving away the proverbial farm in approving a
flawed nuclear deal in 2015, the Obama administration still imposed economic
sanctions for Iran’s continued missile program development in a quixotic case
of trying to have its cake and eat it too.
It is a reminder that the core issues with the nuclear deal
went far beyond nuclear weapons and instead should have focused intensely on
the regime’s actions including human rights violations and sponsorship of
The nuclear deal’s fatal flaw was to try and rein in a
specific weapon while leaving along a host of other weapons at the disposal of
madmen in the mullahs.
The fact that the regime defiantly stated it would continue
in its missile development, demonstrates why imposing stiff sanctions is ever
more important. To relent and allow Iran unfettered freedom to develop its
missile program would be place Europe under a nuclear sword of Damocles since
the nuclear deal admittedly was never designed to stop Iran’s nuclear program,
only slow it down.
Since the mullahs’ openly professed desire to become an
Islamic nuclear power is almost inevitable, the key is to neuter their ability
to drop a nuke on Paris, London or Berlin; all noteworthy since
Islamic-inspired terrorism has already been visited on each of those cities
since the nuclear deal was signed.
Security Council resolution 2231 enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with
Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in which Tehran
curbed its disputed uranium enrichment program in exchange for an end to
The resolution says Iran is “called upon” to
refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to
deliver nuclear weapons.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that he was
deeply 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,” Hunt added.
The language of the U.N. Security Council Resolution
“calls on” rather than “forbids” Iran from testing its
to Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.
It is this inconsistently that the Iran lobby and regime have sought to exploit in aggressively pushing for a missile program free from
But then again, Parsi is less concerned about stopping the
proliferation of weapons than he is in protecting his mullah patrons in Tehran
from any further sanctions.