For all of the talk of Russia’s interference with the U.S. election process and their quite obvious motive of getting Donald Trump elected president, there is also something to be said about Trump’s obvious disliking of Iran. He has quite often criticized the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear deal) and has also included Iran on his “travel ban” list.
This leads us to conclude that: A) Trump doesn’t have as close ties to Moscow and Putin as some believe, B) he is bluffing about any potential conflict with Iran in order to distract the media and provide plausible deniability of Russian ties, and/or C) he simply is ignorant of the complexities of Russia and Iran’s relationship.
Regardless, the Trump White House is standing up (to some degree) to Iran’s ballistic missile launch which was confirmed today. While Iran says that the launch of the missile, which is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, is not against the nuclear deal signed under President Obama, the UN Security Council disagrees.
“The action was in line with boosting Iran’s defense power and is not in contradiction with the JCPOA (the nuclear deal) or Resolution 2231,” Iran Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan explained. “We have previously announced that we will execute the programs we have planned in production of defense equipment meant for our national interests and objectives. Nobody can influence our decision.”
“We will not allow foreigners to interfere in our defense affairs.”
In response to the missile launch, White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn issued a formal warning to Iran and “Officially” put them on notice.
“Recent Iranian actions, including a provocative 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 Middle East.”
“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, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
“The Trump administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and which place American lives at risk.”
Iran is an ally with Putin’s Russia, so if Trump is really as close as many Democrats believe he is, then we probably won’t see any military action against Iran. The next few months should provide more insight into actually how Trump feels about Iran, Russia and the U.N. So far, Flynn’s comments have sided with the U.N., an organization that Trump has threatened to bail on.
We must also all keep in mind that the Trump administration has many business ties to Saudi Arabia, a country left off of his refugee ban-list, despite the fact that more terrorists have come to America from the country than any of the others on his list combined. One thing is for certain though — this definitely provides an example of the complexities involved when speaking of foreign affairs. Because a country is an ally to another nation doesn’t mean that that country is also an ally to that ally’s friends. There are many complexities and intricacies that Trump will find shortly, if he hasn’t already.
Military action in Iran would be beneficial to Saudi Arabia and Israel — two countries Trump has shown support for — but detrimental to Russia’s agenda. Putting Iran on “notice” does little to harm anyone, but a military strike, on the other hand, would have significant impact.
We must also note that Trump himself has kept quite about the Iranian missile launch so far, although Senate Republicans have praised the White House. This includes Senator John McCain who tweeted this afternoon, “Glad WH is standing up to Iranian aggression.”
Surely this story isn’t over just yet……