Remember when we thought that we could negotiate with Iran? Yeah, that was hilarious.
Perhaps Iran’s Supreme Leader chanting “death to America” during the negotiation stage of the Iran deal wasn’t enough of a red flag to our leaders that Iran may not be acting in good faith.
The Iran deal was made in July 2015, with the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Now Iran is moving to accelerate a program affected by the deal – their ballistic missile program.
President Hassan Rouhani ordered his defense minister on Thursday to expand Iran’s missile program, in defiance of a U.S. threat to impose sanctions over a ballistic missile test Iran carried out in October.
Under a landmark agreement it clinched with world powers in July, Iran is scaling back a nuclear program that the West feared was aimed at acquiring atomic weapons, in return for an easing of international sanctions. It hopes to see these lifted early in the new year.
But sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday that Washington is preparing new sanctions against international companies and individuals over Iran’s testing of a medium-range Emad rocket on Oct. 10.
And here’s the best part – Iran is arguing that we’re the ones violating the nuclear agreement.
Iranian officials have said the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would view such penalties as violating the nuclear accord. Earlier on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari condemned the U.S. plans to impose additional sanctions as “arbitrary and illegal”.
But the opposite is the case:
A team of U.N. sanctions monitors said in a confidential report seen by Reuters on Dec. 15 that the Emad rocket tested by Iran was a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, making it a violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Ballistic missiles follow a high, arching trajectory before falling under gravity to their target, unlike low-flying cruise missiles. Ballistic tests by Iran are banned under Security Council resolution 1929, which dates from 2010 and remains valid until the July nuclear deal between Iran and world powers goes into effect.
Once it does, Iran will still be “called upon” not to undertake any ballistic missiles work designed to deliver nuclear weapons for a period of up to eight years, according to a Security Council resolution adopted in July, right after the nuclear deal.
In other words, because Iran won’t be able to produce more ballistic missiles after provisions of the nuclear deal go completely into effect, they’re maxing out production now in anticipation.
Can they really be trusted to uphold their side of the deal?
[Note: This article was authored by The Analytical Economist]