Khamenei very publicly told Iran’s military that they should move at full speed ahead with mass producing missiles on Sunday, despite world powers’ “stupid, idiotic expectation” to the contrary, that ol’ chestnut — so this report from the United Nations is definitely no surprise (not that it would have been anyway), via Reuters:
Despite apparently reducing illicit purchases that breach U.N. sanctions, Iran is pursuing development of ballistic missiles, a confidential U.N. report says, posing an acute challenge to six powers negotiating with Tehran to rein in its nuclear program.
On Sunday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described as “stupid and idiotic” Western expectations for his country to curb its missile development. He decreed mass production of ballistic weapons, striking a defiant tone just before nuclear talks resumed on Wednesday in Vienna. …
But a senior U.S. official made clear this week that Tehran’s ballistic capabilities must be addressed in the negotiations since U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iran “among many other things, do say that any missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon must be dealt with.” …
“Iran is continuing development of its ballistic missile and space programs,” the experts said. “A new missile launch site 40 km (25 miles) from the city of Shahrud was identified in August 2013. A larger launch complex is assessed to be close to completion at the Imam Khomeini Space Center at Semnan for ballistic missiles and satellite launch vehicles.”
The best thing that can be said of Iran and their banned nuke and missile programs at the moment, according to the report, is that they have slowed down their net attempts to illicitly procure the necessary materials during their bid to get the West to relieve them of some of their economic sanctions. So… there’s that?
The talks currently going on between world powers in Vienna are supposed to produce the ultimate deal that will decidedly avert war in the Middle East by July 20th, but with Iran basically telling the West to talk to the hand and with Russia apparently supporting their effort to keep missile development in the picture, among other things… color me skeptical.
You can hear the wheels clunking into place in Vienna and in Foggy Bottom. There is plenty of evidence that the fix is in to silence critics and sell a rotten deal with Iran or simply negotiate ad infinitum.
As we noted, Iran is currently not complying with the interim deal. If there are no headlines such as “Iran won’t comply!” or presidential speeches warning that Iran must comply with inspections and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency forthwith, you know it is because the administration and its acolytes fear failure to make a deal much more than they fear a threshold Iranian nuclear weapons capability.