Trump administration threat to Iran short on substance

February 1, 2017 On Wednesday, President Trump’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn condemned Iran’s recent ballistic missile test launch, calling it a “provocative” breach of a United Nations Security Council resolution. Other than tough talk, the White House offered no details on possible actions, but isn’t ruling out military action against the Islamic Republic.

Michael Flynn called the launch the latest in a series of provocative moves by Iran, including backing Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have attacked U.S. allies. The Trump administration offered no details of what policy or military options it may be considering.

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have escalated in recent years, evidenced by a series of confrontations in region. In July, 2016, just days after the one-year anniversary of a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, Iran attempted at least four ballistic missile tests in violation of a United Nation Security Council resolution tied to the nuclear agreement. Resolution 2231 calls on 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 United Nations has not yet determined whether the launch was a violation, but Iran has repeatedly maintained that missile development is within its rights to self-defense against attack from regional adversary, Israel. International security experts say Iranian cyber powers are far below those of the United States, Russia, China and Israel. However, Iran’s state hacking program demonstrates its capabilities are improving.

According to a 2016 Heritage Foundation assessment of threats in the Middle East to the homeland, Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism and has made extensive efforts to export its radical Shia brand of Islamist revolution. Iran currently controls the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East.

SEE ALSO: Trump to Iran, You’re Officially on Notice

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