Iran doubled down on its defiant position on testing ballistic missiles when it made two separate launches in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Anticipating a reaction from the international community, Tehran said it would walk away from the nuclear deal if the United States and other powers fail to advance the Islamic Republic’s “national interests.”
“If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue,” Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, warned during remarks delivered to a group of Iranian officials in Tehran.
“If other parties decide, they could easily violate the deal,” Araqchi was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-controlled media. “However, they know this will come with costs.”
Araqchi appeared to allude to the United States possibly leveling new economic sanctions as a result of the missile test. The Obama administration moved forward with new sanctions earlier this year as a result of the country’s previous missile tests.
Iran’s latest missile test drew outrage from longtime regime critics on Capitol Hill.
“The administration’s response to Iran’s new salvo of threatening missile tests in violation of international law cannot once again be, it’s ‘not supposed to be doing that,’” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) said in a statement. “Now is the time for new crippling sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ministry of Defense, Aerospace Industries Organization, and other related entities driving the Iranian ballistic missile program.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) warned that the nuclear agreement has done little to moderate Iran’s rogue behavior.
“Far from pushing Iran to a more moderate engagement with its neighbors, this nuclear deal is enabling Iran’s aggression and terrorist activities,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Sanctions relief is fueling Iran’s proxies from Yemen to Iraq to Syria to Lebanon. Meanwhile, Khamenei and the Iranian regime are acting with impunity because they know President Obama will not hold them accountable and risk the public destruction of his nuclear deal, the cornerstone of the president’s foreign policy legacy.”
McCarthy went on to demand that the Obama administration step forward with new sanctions as punishment for the missile test.
The U.S. slapped some mild, mostly meaningless sanctions on Iran in January for a missile test in October. The new sanctions prevent 11 companies and organizations and individuals linked to the missile program from using the US banking system. (Sorry, no ATM cards for the mullahs.)
Emboldened by this pitifully weak response, Iran upped the ante and launched another salvo of missiles. It is now demanding that the U.S. promote its national interests like some kind of vassal state.
The surprising news that violations of the nuclear deal by Iran will be kept secret should make every single Democrat who voted for the treaty to hang their head in shame:
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department had difficulty Monday explaining why the nuclear agreement limits public reporting by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, on potential deal violations by Iran.
Yukiya Amano, the IAEA’s chief, disclosed on Monday that his agency is no longer permitted to release details about Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the deal. The limited public reporting is a byproduct of the nuclear agreement, according to Amano.
When asked about these comments again Tuesday, a State Department official told the Free Beacon that the IAEA’s reports would continue to provide a complete picture of Iran’s nuclear program, though it remains unclear if this information will be made publicly available.
All of these side deals are designed to make sure that Iran can violate the nuclear deal and either no one will be able to discover their cheating or whatever cheating is uncovered will remain secret.
Some deal, huh?