The White House intends to defer to the U.N. in response to Iran’s third missile launch violation since the signing of the Iran deal last July.
Maj. Gen. Ali Jafari, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said the missile tests are a sign that Iran will not cease its missile testing despite a new round of sanctions imposed on the country in January. The Obama administration implemented the sanctions after Iran conducted two missile tests last year.
“Our enemies have realized that broader sanctions and security pressures have had little impact on our capabilities. That’s why they now seek to confine us in the missile field through economic sanctions,” said Jafari, who was in attendance for the tests. Jafari’s IRGC is the military organization that controls Iran’s missile arsenal.
Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi echoed Jafari’s sentiments and took the issue one step further, threatening to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal if it does not serve the country’s purposes.
“If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue,” said Araqchi.
Despite Iranian bravado, a senior Obama administration official pointed out that the missile tests are not in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal).
“To be very clear, such tests are not a violation of the JCPOA,” the official told the Wall Street Journal. “That said, there are strong indications that the test is inconsistent with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. If confirmed, we intend to raise the matter in the U.N. Security Council. We will also encourage a serious review of the incident and press for an appropriate response.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, a fierce opponent of the Iran nuclear deal since its inception, has condemned the test and blames President Obama’s “deference to dictators and rogue regimes.”
“Conducting ballistic missile tests is akin to throwing dirt in the face of the entire free world.” said Cotton in a written statement. “And it reveals Iran has little intention of abiding by the terms of the nuclear deal it agreed to just months ago. Obama should recognize this truth and take immediate steps to confront our enemies in Iran, North Korea and around the world.”
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