Introduction – Dec 12, 2018
On Dec. 2, Mike Pompeo mistakenly claimed that Iranian missile tests were already banned. They aren’t but that didn’t stop the U.S. Secretary of State from demanding that the United Nations ban Iran from testing its missiles anyway.
So why is the United States so concerned about Iran’s missile tests?
Iran says it is developing its missiles to deter potential aggressors and thus far it has only developed missiles with a range of no more than 2,500 kilometres. That’s enough to reach archenemies Israel and Saudi Arabia and most U.S. bases in the region. But crucially, it’s not enough to reach Western Europe or the United States; lending weight to Tehran’s claim that its missiles are for purely defensive purposes.
Although Iran hasn’t extended the range of its missiles it has improved their accuracy and the speed in which they can be deployed and fired; two key factors in deterrence that determine how quickly and precisely Iran can respond to an attack.
Nonetheless, America persists in trying to limit Iran: economically with sanctions, diplomatically and now by demanding its missile tests are banned. As Iran’s missiles don’t pose a direct threat to the United States one wonders if the Trump administration’s persistent demands aren’t the result of Israel and/or Saudi nagging?
Whatever has prompted the latest U.S. moves against Iran not everyone is buying it. In the latest U.N. Security Council session on Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, Russia’s UN ambassador condemned what he called America’s “anti-Iran hysteria” and its attempts to “demonise Iran“.
This is all too reminiscent of the U.S. campaign against Iraq nearly twenty years ago. We know where that led — sanctions, which claimed the lives of more than half-a-million children, invasion and years of conflict – but will Washington be able to drum up the same level of international support it once summoned against Iraq?
Somehow we don’t think it will. America’s power is now on the decline while Russia, a key ally of Iran is now in the ascendant. So while Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Israel may support Washington’s campaign against Iran we suspect that few others will. Ed.
Pompeo calls for international coalition against Iran, as Europe ramps up pressure
Adam Shaw — Fox News Dec 12, 2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he wants to build a “coalition of responsible nations” to push back against malign Iranian actions — as European countries took to the U.N. Security Council to ramp up pressure on the regime.
“The United States will continue to unite sovereign nations in their responsibility to work for the peace and security of their own people and a stable international order,” he said at a meeting of the council on non-proliferation. “The United States will continue to be relentless in building a coalition of responsible nations who are serious about confronting the Iranian regime’s reckless ballistic missile activity.”
He warned nations of allowing the Islamic regime to flout the Iran nuclear deal, and called on the Security Council to “get serious” about pushing back on the regime.
“Iran has exploited the goodwill of nations and defied multiple Security Council Resolutions in its quest for a robust ballistic missile force,” he told the Council. “The United States will never stand for this.”
The meeting comes after Tehran tested a medium-range ballistic missile earlier this month — a move that Pompeo has said is in violation of Security Council Resolution 2231, the document that enshrined the 2015 Iran deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), negotiated under the Obama administration.
Pompeo has cited the activities of Iran as proof that the deal is not working.
“If you’re looking for a failed agreement, I’ve got a good one for you,” he told reporters outside the council chamber on Wednesday.
However the resolution only “calls upon” Iran to cease testing of ballistic missiles, which has led European diplomats to say that the move is “inconsistent” with the resolution, but not in violation — a crucial diplomatic distinction.
Consequently, the European line toed by many on the Council was that the JCPoA was working and needed to be upheld, and that they regretted the U.S. decision to pull out of the Obama-era accord in May and reimpose sanctions.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre said there was no “credible alternative” to the JCPoA and noted that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog had repeatedly found Iran to be in compliance.
“Iran continues honoring its nuclear obligations, confirmed for 13th time in a row by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he said.