President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn released a statement on Wednesday warning Iran that the Trump administration is “officially putting Iran 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,” Flynn explained.
It was reported on Monday that the Iranian-backed Shiite Houti rebels in Yemen’s civil war coordinated an attack on a Saudi naval vessel, described by Saudi media to have been a suicide boat attack and by Iranian media to have been an anti-ship missile attack. Saudi Arabia’s military has intervened in the civil war along with several other Sunni Arab states in an effort to help restore the rule of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
“These are just the latest of a series of incidents in the past six months in which Houthi forces that Iran has trained and armed have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels, and threatened U.S. and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea,” Flynn continued. “In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region.”
Trump’s national security adviser also referenced Iran’s ballistic missile test this past weekend.
“The recent ballistic missile launch is also in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” Flynn stated.
UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement that was reached in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China), also prohibits Iran from “any activity related ballistic missiles that are designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” Iran, which recently admitted to conducting the missile test, has argued that it was for defensive purposes, and therefore not in violation of its obligations under Resolution 2231.
“President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama Administration, as well as the United Nations – as being weak and ineffective,” Flynn stressed. “Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened.”
“The Obama Administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions—including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms,” he continued.
Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN, admitted before leaving her post that recent reports show Iran not to be living up to its obligations under Resolution 2231, which also prohibits Iran from exporting arms. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon similarly informed the UN Security Council of reports suggesting that Iran has transferred weapons to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
“The Trump Administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place American lives at risk,” Flynn emphasized, concluding that “as of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”
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