US National Security Advisor Mike Flynn delivered a rebuke to Iran Wednesday, warning that the Iranian regime was now “on notice” after two incidents this week which Flynn described as threatening to the U.S. and its allies.
Flynn was introduced by White House spokesman Sean Spicer to discuss two recent international incidents involving Iran. “Recent Iranian actions involving a ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi Naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the entire Middle East,” Flynn said. He continued, “The recent ballistic missile launch is also in defiance of UN security council resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
“These are just the latest of a series of incidents in the past 6 months in which Houthi forces, that Iran has trained and armed, have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels and threatened United States and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea. In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies 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.
“The Trump administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East which places American lives at risk. President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama administration as well as the United Nations as being weak and ineffective. Instead of being thankful to the United States in these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened. As of today we are officially putting Iran on notice.”
I wrote about the ballistic missile test Iran carried out Monday. UN resolution 2231 does call on Iran not to perform tests of missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. However, Iran has sidestepped this saying the specific language of the resolution does not expressly forbid them from carrying out missile tests. Iran also claims the missiles they are testing are not intended to carry nuclear weapons.
With regard to the suicide attack on a Saudi frigate Tuesday by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, Fox News reported yesterday that U.S. intelligence analysts believe the attackers may have thought they were striking an American ship.
This is certainly a very different tone toward Iran from the one set by President Obama. Given that Ayatollah Khamenei was already fond of referring to the U.S. as an arrogant, it’s difficult to imagine this message will go over well in Tehran.