UN Security Council must take tough stand on Iran’s ballistic missile test

By Amir Basiri

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss Iran’s Sunday ballistic missile test, its second after the signing of the July 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, and its first since the inauguration of President Trump.

While world powers discuss this clear violation of the spirit of the nuclear deal and affront to U.N. resolutions, two stark realities should not be forgotten.

First, the latest episode shows that Iran has no intention to become a peaceful member of the international community, as was hoped by former President Barack Obama and other proponents of the nuclear deal and the appeasement policy toward Tehran.

From firing ballistic missiles to crossing the cap set on its uranium stockpile, Iran has used every opportunity to toe the line and test the limits of the deal, and to manifest its hostility toward its international counterparts.

Absent a firm response from the international community, the Iranian regime has only increased its aggressions elsewhere, including its incursions in Gulf waters, hostage-taking of foreign nationals on its own soil and its violent meddling in Syria and other countries of the region.

Second, Iran’s latest missile test proves the nuclear deal is badly flawed and definitely too vague to keep in check a rogue regime such as Iran, which is constantly seeking loopholes to exploit.

Previous U.N. resolutions explicitly prohibited Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests. However, U.N. Resolution 2231, which was adopted days after the signing of the nuclear deal and overrides previous U.N. resolutions, calls on Iran to refrain from engaging in ballistic missile activity “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

The Iranian regime claims that the resolution’s text does not prohibit launchings, and since Tehran is not in possession of nuclear weapons, missile tests don’t count as violations.

This doesn’t sit well with the fact that a sunset clause provisioned in the nuclear deal allows Iran to ultimately resume uranium enrichment at weapons-grade level and increase its stockpile.

Obama himself admitted in an interview that the accord eventually shrinks Iran’s breakout time (the time it would take Tehran to build a nuclear weapon) to nothing as opposed to its current 12-month length.

Iran’s unabated development of its ballistic missile program, the complementary piece of its nuclear arms puzzle, is further proof that any hope of the mullahs having a change of heart and altering their behavior by then is, at best, wishful thinking.

After the recent revamp of the White House, the Iranian regime is testing the waters again and will be closely watching the reaction of the international community and the new U.S. administration to its latest supposed show of power.

At this point, the right approach is for the Security Council to hold the Iranian regime to account and set punitive measures on its belligerent and hostile behavior. The past eight years have taught us that concessions and appeasement will do nothing to curb Iran’s evil ambitions and trouble-making in the region.

Militarily, Iran’s ballistic missile test was a failure. Only a firm policy can see to its political failure as well.

Originally published in Washington Examiner

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