President Donald Trump accused Iran of cooperation with North Korea hours after the Islamic Republic reportedly test-launched its new long-range Khorramshahr ballistic missile, which can travel about 1,200 miles and can carry multiple warheads,
“Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!” Trump wrote on Twitter, indicating he is contemplating pulling the U.S. out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers.
Trump’s tweet later led to a dispute about the credibility of the Iranian announcement, with some of Trump’s critics claiming the president based his message on “fake news” after Fox News reported the footage of the new launch of the Iranian ballistic missile could have been seven months old.
Old footage or not, Trump’s tweet dealt with Iranian North Korean cooperation on Iran’s missile and nuclear program.
Trump considers Iran’s ballistic missile program a breach of the spirit of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, the nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic that was brokered by former Secretary of State John Kerry, and the president has threatened not to recertify the deal when its implementation will be reviewed by the administration in the middle of October.
Proponents of the Iran deal always have always claimed the JCPOA didn’t prohibit Iran from continuing to work on its ballistic missile program. However, annex B, par.3 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which is an integral part of the JCPOA that turned the nuclear deal into international law, clearly calls upon Iran to refrain from launching ballistic missiles.
Trump has indicated he will most likely kill the current agreement, and he might reinstall biting sanctions on Iran over its breaches of the JCPOA and its continuing belligerent and imperialistic behavior in the Middle East and beyond.
During his speech at the U.N General Assembly last week, Trump called the nuclear accord “nothing short of an embarrassment” and the “worst one-sided deal perhaps in American history,” while later announcing he had made a decision on the matter, though he did not elaborate.
The Iranians, on the other hand, threaten to annul the deal as soon as the administration announced it will no longer recertify the agreement and have said they are able to restart uranium enrichment to a weapons-grade level within five days.
The alleged launch of the Khorramshahr ballistic did not go unnoticed in Israel, with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman calling the missile test a “provocation” to the United States and a threat to the entire free world.
“The ballistic missile that was fired by Iran is not only a provocation and a slap in the face for the United States and its allies — and an attempt to test them — but also further proof of the Iranian ambitions to become a world power and threaten countries in the Middle East and all the countries of the free world,” according to the Israeli veteran politician.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news about the launch of the Khorramshahr missile by convening his security cabinet on Sunday, Israel’s national army radio reported.
The Khorramshahr missile is the third Iranian ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel, and its alleged launch has further exacerbated an already tense situation in the Middle East.
Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel.They are also working with North Korea.Not much of an agreement we have!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Trump’s remarks on the Iranian-North Korean cooperation came a day after a U.S. Marine veteran revealedNorth Korea is selling Iran nuclear weapon technology and chemical weapons worth $3 billion a year, and a veteran Navy Seal called the Iranian and North Korean regime an “extremely dangerous duo.”
Trump’s tweet indicates he is more aware of the enormous threat to the world posed by the Iranian – North Korean axis than previously thought, and appears to think the path of diplomacy has been exhausted.
In the case of North Korea, he has ramped up the pressure on the rogue, nuclear-armed regime by imposing biting sanctions, such as a complete cutoff from the dollar, the currency it uses for its official and illicit trade. He has also penalized companies that continue to conduct business with the regime in Pyongyang.
“Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that, going forward, they can choose to do business with the United States or with North Korea, but not both,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a press conference last week.
Retired General Wesley Clark thinks the U.S. will need the combined power of the U.S. armed forces to cope with the increasing danger posed by the Iranian-North Korean axis.
“We’ll need all the capabilities of the U.S. armed forces to be able to deal with Iran and North Korea at the same time,” Clark told Fox News.
“We got great men and women in uniform, we’re going to need them all in the days ahead unfortunately,” he concluded.