I wonder if all the attention being paid to ISIS these days has the Iranians feeling a bit left out of the international headlines? While everyone else was busy delving into the affairs in Paris and San Bernardino, Iran took the opportunity to test fire another Ghadr-110 ballistic missile, a model allegedly capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and with a range sufficient to hit anyone in the region. By all accounts, the test was a success. (Fox News)
Iran has carried out a new medium range ballistic missile test in breach of two United Nations Security Council resolutions, a senior U.S. official told Fox News on Monday.
Western intelligence says the test was held Nov. 21 near Chabahar, a port city in southeast Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province near the border with Pakistan. The launch took place from a known missile test site along the Gulf of Oman.
The missile, known as a Ghadr-110, has a range of 1,800 – 2000 km, or 1200 miles, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The missile fired in November is an improved version of the Shahab 3, and is similar to the precision guided missile tested by Iran on Oct. 10, which elicited strong condemnation from members of the U.N. Security Council.
As noted, this wasn’t the first time that the Iranians have thumbed their nose at UN sanctions and supposed limits on their testing program. Back in October they conducted a similar operation and drew strongly worded letters (and not much else) from the international community. (Reuters)
The United States, Britain, France and Germany called on Wednesday for the United Nations Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee to take action over a missile test by Tehran that they said violated a U.N. ban.
In a letter containing details on the launch, they said the ballistic missile was “inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.”
Sound familiar? All through the nuclear deal negotiations process we were assured by the White House and John Kerry that this was a deal based on no trust and all verification. And that concept was supposed to be applied to the hidden research facilities which are really difficult to get into and inspect. These missile tests aren’t even remotely hidden… in fact they broadcast them on state television. If they can’t be held to this sort of a standard, how are we going to “trust” them on the more clandestine activities?
I’m sure a blatant provocation such as this will have our President up in arms and ready to reconsider any more tenuous deals with Tehran, right? (Though after the October test, Obama had insisted that it wouldn’t “derail” the deal.)
“I think what we’ll be doing is we’ll review, as we have in the past, any violations of U.N. resolutions, and we’ll deal with them much as we have in the past,” Obama said of the October incident.
A senior administration official told Fox News on Monday the White House was “aware” of reports of the missile test, but had “no further comment at this time.”
It’s worth noting that only yesterday the Russians were saying that they expect the Iran deal to be fully implemented in January. There are two parts to that expectation which both Russia and their friends in Iran are insisting on. First, Russia reminded the UN that all sanctions on Iran would need to be lifted for everything to go fully into effect. Second, the Iranians are demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency “fully close” their twelve year long investigation into Iran’s past nuclear weapons experiments.
Just how crazy are we at this point? The Iranians are currently under some sanctions specifically for testing those long and medium range ballistic missiles. The missiles are designed to be equipped with nuclear warheads. Can we not put two and two together here and reasonably conclude that they’re not terribly interested in honoring their commitments and, with Russia by their side, they aren’t all that frightened of sanctions anymore? The idea of “closing the investigation” is supposed to be taken up at the next meeting of the UN panel on Iran Sanctions on the 15th of this month. That sounds rather harmless at first glance because a closed investigation can always be reopened. But world events must surely play a role in such considerations and the ballistic missile tests should be enough to cast doubt on Iran’s intentions in anyone’s mind.
But the White House has no further comment at this time. That’s comforting.