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Trump puts Iran ‘on notice’ after ballistic missile test

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump listened as he was introduced during the National Prayer Breakfast, today, in Washington.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    National Security Adviser Michael Flynn spoke during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington Wednesday. Flynn said the administration is putting Iran “on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile.

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump said today his administration has put Iran “on notice,” echoing comments from his top national security adviser that the U.S. will act against Iran unless it stops testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Trump and his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, didn’t elaborate on what retaliatory actions the U.S. could pursue.

Trump tweeted, “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!”

He added in another tweet: “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a lifeline in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.”

As part of the nuclear deal struck during the Obama administration, Iran received access to an estimated $100 billion of its own money that had been frozen in foreign bank accounts. The U.S. did not give Iran $150 billion.

Flynn on Wednesday forcefully denounced Iran’s behavior in his first public remarks since Trump took office. He accused Iran of threatening U.S. allies and spreading instability throughout the Middle East while faulting the Obama administration for doing too little to stop the Islamic Republic.

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said from the White House podium.

On notice for what, Flynn didn’t say. Senior Trump administration officials said they were actively considering a “range of options” including economic measures and increased support for Iran’s regional adversaries. The officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, declined repeatedly to say whether military action is being considered.

The warning was an early manifestation of Trump’s promise of a tougher American approach to Iran. Yet administration officials emphasized that their allegations were unrelated to Iran’s obligations under the Iran nuclear deal that President Barack Obama and world leaders negotiated. Though Flynn noted Trump has criticized that deal, officials declined to say whether Trump planned to follow through on his campaign pledge to renegotiate it.

“The Obama administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions — including weapons transfers, support for terrorism and other violations of international norms,” Flynn said.

The White House also faulted Iran for backing Houthi rebels in Yemen who on Tuesday claimed a successful missile strike against a warship belonging to a Saudi-led coalition fighting to reinstall Yemen’s internationally recognized government. The media arm of the Shiite rebels said the vessel was believed to belong to the Saudi Arabian navy.

Administration officials said Iran was providing key support by arming, training and financing the rebels, with a goal of leveraging its relationship with the Houthis to “build a long-term presence in Yemen.”

The White House said the goal in putting Iran “on notice” was to signal to Tehran that it needed to rethink its behavior. Flynn said Iran specifically violated the U.N.’s ban on “activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Iran’s Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan confirmed Wednesday that Iran conducted a missile test, but did not say when the test was carried out or specify the type of missile. He insisted it wasn’t a violation of U.N. resolutions.

The U.S. said the test was of a medium-range ballistic missile. It ended with a “failed” re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, said a U.S. defense official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Reports of the test emerged after Trump signed an executive order last week temporarily suspending immigration from Iran and six other majority-Muslim countries.

On one point, the U.S. and Iran agree: The test didn’t violate the nuclear deal itself.

Ballistic missile testing wasn’t explicitly included in the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. But as part of the final negotiations, Iran agreed to an eight-year extension of a U.N. ban on ballistic missile development. The U.N. Security Council later endorsed the agreement, calling on Iran not to carry out such tests. But Iran has flouted the prohibition regularly in the past year-and-a-half, drawing sanctions from the U.S. but also diplomatic cover from Russia.

At the request of the U.S., the U.N. Security Council held a session Tuesday to address the missile test. The council referred the matter to its committee on Iran and asked for an investigation.

Iran has long boasted of having missiles that can travel 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), putting much of the Middle East, including Israel, in range. Such capability would also put U.S. bases in the region in danger. Iran says its missiles are key to deterring a U.S. or Israeli attack.

In March, Iran test-fired two ballistic missiles. One was emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew, sparking international outcry.

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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    • While I am not condoning Iran’s action, people need to know why it’s easy for the hard-liners in Iran to stoke anti-American sentiment. In 1954 our government, at the urging of Britain’s Winston Churchill, overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government to seize the petroleum resources for what is now BP (British Petroleum) and refineries that the Iranians had nationalized. The U.S. installed and supported the Shah of Iran, whom the Iranians ousted in their 1979 revolution. (For background on this, read “All the Shah’s Men.”) Unfortunately, president trump’s hard-line rhetoric will serve to isolate the less radical Iranian leaders who would de-escalate the tensions between our two countries.

      • True but remember, Iran’s missile does not carry a nuclear capacity. Firing a test missile did not violate the agreement signed by Obama at all. Obama got the best deal possible given Iran’s suspicion of the USA. The suspicion is, in all truth, well deserved. If we were not servants to Israeli interests, we would likely be friends with Iran. They are not our enemy at all.

  • And in a Trump administration does “on notice” mean the next step to a boots on the ground war? Isn’t that what the people elected him for? To commit to something that Obama wouldn’t?

  • What has O done correctly in 8 years?
    Which is worse..Ocare..Iran deal?
    Will O open his BIG MOUTH on this?

    O….”Another fine mess you gotten us into”!

    • Just another Obama foreign policy failure that Trump will have to clean up… Yeah right!!!
      Trump doesn’t clean up anything. He’s the one who leaves a wake of destruction. Look at his casinos, workers, investors, “students” and small businesses he’s left destitute.

      Wake up, dude.

        • I thought Obama was about giving the warning shots and The Trump was about action??? We elected him not to talk but to ACT, we’ve been through the talking Let’s Go in there and show them OUR MIGHT…Protect America Trump!!! #MAGA

      • Qbcoach15> As I have always stated that perhaps it is time to unleash the nuclear might of the USA upon those who continually lie, violate agreements, and use provocation to further their national intent against the USA. Iran is pushing the so-called envelope where it will force us to deal with them with precision and finality. Let the rest of the world stand up and watch as we proceed to eliminate one of the greatest threats to world order. Flash, boom andd doom to Iran. Collateral damage will occur but it will be worth it for peace and order in the world. LET IT HAPPEN!

  • I’m so GLAD we have a President standing-up against these “Death To America” Thugs! Bout D@mm time!
    We should also point out to our esteemed Democrat politicians,that the Iran Nuke Deal was a disaster “From The Get Go”. It was doomed to fail! And yet?Everyone of them signed off on this deal!

    Here’s part of that deal…….. “Iran will remain subject to a UN arms embargo for five years.Restrictions will stay on it’s ballistic missiles program another for eight years”. Yikes ! Really? Iran sign on off this Deal in,(what was it) July of 2015…..Les than two years?

    We told you so Dear Democrats,but NO you didn’t listen! We told you that the Iranians would cheat! They have in the past and now They just did…..AGAIN! Now they have been warned.

    I digress……
    Wouldn’t it be nice if the UN & the IAEA would simply do it’s job! Do what you said you would do by enforcing this deal? Without having to use the U.S.A. as your personal Body Guard?

    • Obama did a GREAT thing with the Iran Nuke Deal…It gave them a verbal warning that was ALL talk and now sets up Trump to Drop a REAL Nuke on them…Obama did the talking now Trump can do the action…Show Them Our Might…#MAGA

  • Reuters: “U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.”

      • bsdetection, sarge22, DPR> Isn’t it about time that the USA shoots first and take names later? Why do we always telegraph what we intend on doing. Next time the Iranians try to disrupt sea opns, we should give them no warning and sink them in place. Gotta get some, instead of them giving it to us all the time. This play fair jazz is outdated since no oneelse plays by the rules anymore. Knock them out!!Do I sound like some kind of psycho? ha, ha, ha! I like the role.

  • Should just bomb their air defense system, cyber attack, then hit their missile sites. Cut a deal with Putin to sell them more junk, stuff we can defeat. We did that with Iraq , when Bush 1 went to war with them, we had all the keys. Iran got old junk stuff , we would be doing Putin a favor.

    • Let’s pillage and take their land and oil. Nobody would notice. Trumpf is not building a wall, he’s actually throwing Americans in a prison he’s building.

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