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 payloads.
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 the official 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 terrorism.
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.
U.N. 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 international sanctions.
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 missiles, according 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.