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White House puts Iran 'on notice' in stark warning over missile tests

February 1, 2017 22:04

"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."

Iran launches missile from undisclosed location

Iran launches missile from undisclosed location. (photo credit:REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration sent a stark message to Tehran on Wednesday over Iran’s continued missile tests and support for proxy militia groups battling Saudi Arabian forces.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Donald Trump became US president, his national security adviser, former lieutenant-general Michael Flynn, said the White House was putting Iran “on notice,” and vowed to act decisively in response.

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“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 said, calling the test a violation of international law.

The UN Security Council met on Tuesday to review the matter and confirmed that the test occurred.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the test “unacceptable,” and her UK counterpart, Matthew Rycroft, warned that it was a sign Tehran had not moderated since world powers signed an international nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015.

Iran continues to threaten US friends and allies in the region,” Flynn said. “The Obama administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions – including weapons transfers, support for terrorism and other violations of international norms.

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 noted that Trump has, in the past, characterized the nuclear deal as “weak and ineffective.” Trump’s national security cabinet members have thus far signaled an interest in strictly policing the nuclear accord, as opposed to scrapping it.

In a briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US was “not going to sit by and not act” as Iran continued what it characterizes as malign activity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to focus on the threat posed by Iran in his February 15 meeting with Trump at the White House.

“Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened,” Flynn warned.

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”
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