search

Trump puts Iran ‘on notice,’ denounces ‘terrible’ nuclear deal

US president warns Islamic Republic over recent missile test, says it ‘should have been thankful’ for agreement with world powers

US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Rex Tillerson (L) as Tillerson's wife Renda St. Clair looks on after Tillerson was sworn in as Secretary of State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2017. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)
US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Rex Tillerson (L) as Tillerson's wife Renda St. Clair looks on after Tillerson was sworn in as Secretary of State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2017. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

US President Donald Trump on Thursday said Iran was now formally “on notice” after a recent missile test, while also claiming the Islamic Republic was on the brink of collapse when it signed an international nuclear deal.

“Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the US made with them!” Trump tweeted, echoing similar comments by National Security Advisor Michael Flynn the day before.

But there has been scant detail from the White House as to what the warning actually means in practical terms. It remains to be seen if the White House will push for sanctions this time around.

Flynn insisted that Sunday’s missile test was “in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” which calls on Iran not to test missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapon.

Flynn also criticized the previous administration’s handling of the Iranian threat and aggressive behavior in the region.

“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.

Iran’s ballistic missile program has been a bone of contention with the West since the nuclear deal took effect in January last year.

A previous, while controversial, test was not found to be in breach of the UN guidelines.

US National Security Adviser Mike Flynn speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2017. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)
US National Security Adviser Mike Flynn speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2017. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

A senior Trump administration official said that it was clear the missile was capable of carrying a nuclear payload, while a second official said it was not considered a breach of the nuclear deal.

Both Trump and Flynn have been harsh critics of Tehran and vocal opponents of the nuclear deal with world powers that saw Iran curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. Trump vowed to rip up the nuclear deal during last year’s presidential campaign.

“Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the US came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion,” Trump said in a second pre-dawn tweet.

He was referring to an estimate of the value of sanctions relief that Iran obtained from the White House — then under president Barack Obama — in exchange for signing the deal.

On Thursday, the German newspaper Die Welt reported that Iran carried out an additional missile test on Sunday of a cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The Soumar model cruise missile does not violate UN Resolution 2231, which was passed shortly after the nuclear deal with Iran was signed in July 2015 and calls on Tehran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” Still, the test is likely to be viewed in Israel and the US as another aggressive maneuver by Tehran to expand its missile program.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed