A lot of saber-rattling going on.
Let me start this by saying we should not be taking Iran lightly.
I would say this of any nation that was under the leadership of people who have suggested they want you and your allies dead.
Iran is certainly guilty of this.
That’s why it is the duty of our leadership in Washington to take well-planned, but decisive action in response to Iran’s ballistic missile test on Sunday.
President Donald Trump’s administration enacted new sanctions on Iran Friday, the first concrete action after the White House put Tehran “on notice” this week.
The Treasury Department said it was applying sanctions on 25 individuals and companies connected to Iran’s ballistic missile program and those providing support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force. That included three separate networks linked to supporting the missile program, which the US opposes.
The newly named National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has called the missile test “provocative,” and also stated that it was in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution, barring them from ramping up a ballistic missiles program.
The new sanctions are designed not to impede upon the Iran nuclear deal, which the US and five other world powers signed with Tehran during President Barack Obama’s tenure. That plan allowed for the lifting of major sanctions against Iran in exchange for a curtailment of its nuclear program.
Administration officials said Friday the new round of sanctions does not affect any individual or firm that had sanctions lifted as part of the nuclear accord. The officials said that new deals between US companies and Iran, like an agreement with Boeing for a new fleet of jets, were not likely to be affected by the sanctions.
The detailed announcement from the Treasury Department on Friday reflected months of work, US officials said, dating to before Trump took office.
Today’s announcement of added sanctions is the first move from the new administration. On Thursday, Trump wouldn’t rule out military action, saying “nothing is off the table.”
The wild card in that statement is Russia.
Before any more aggressive moves against Iran, Trump and his administration would have to consider there may be counter-moves from one of Iran’s closest allies.
It puts Trump in an interesting predicament, as they have expressed a desire to have a warmer relationship with Russia.
How that jibes with the recent sanctions that were also put on Russia, in response to their alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election (a charge they deny) remains to be seen.
The new sanctions designate Abdollah Asgharzadeh, an Iranian businessman whom the Treasury Department accused of acting as a procurement agent for the ballistic missile program. It also singled out individuals within Asgharzadeh’s network.
Other entities that were targeted Friday include trading networks associated with Iran’s missile program and a network accused of providing cash transfers to Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror group.
The Treasury Department said it was freezing all US assets for those individuals and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them. A US official said the individuals who came under sanction on Friday have “touch points” in the US financial system, but couldn’t detail their exact exposure in the United States or the precise impact the sanctions will have monetarily.
The sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies were issued under an existing executive order that Trump’s two predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, also used to punish the country for test launches, most recently in January 2016.
For their part, the Iranians are defiant, with one Iranian adviser saying Trump should look to his predecessor, Barack Obama, on how to handle the Muslim world.
He even suggested the U.S. should consider their failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Yes, that’s a surefire way to get Trump to not only slam every president that came before him, but to double down on insults and sanctions against Iran.
The adviser went on to say that all test fire missiles were defensive, and that they had the right to carry out such tests.
Because Iran has always proved to be above reproach and absolutely trustworthy.