The Trump administration has long sought to highlight the threat of Iran’s ballistic missiles program and also to make it a center point of concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s violations of the 2015 Iran deal. Now the US is putting in place sweeping measures to confront the Iranian nuclear program, in the wake of US Secretary of State saying that snapback sanctions were now in place. This has been viewed as a unilateral move by the US and foreign states have indicated they are against it. Central to the sanctions are Iran’s missile and conventional arms. A US State Department factsheet that was circulated Monday highlights the key elements of the White House game plan. The goal is to counter “Iranian persons who support Iran’s ballistic missile programs and who have been associated with an Iranian organization that has played a key role in Iran-North Korea missile cooperation.” The fact sheet dovetails with the Reuters report yesterday that included quotes from an unnamed senior US official who claimed that Iran and North Korea were renewing cooperation on missiles.Iran has an impressive arsenal of missiles, such as its Shahed, Qiam and Zulfighar series of missiles. However North Korea is also a technical powerhouse when it comes to missiles. Both countries have built on Soviet and Chinese technology. Missiles are, in essence, not dramatically more advanced in concept since the era of the German V-2 during the Second World War. However the goal is to increase range and precision and also to work with both solid and liquid fueled rockets. Iran has managed to do this despite US sanctions and Iran claims its program isn’t in violation of previous sanctions or the Iran Deal. Iran’s message to the US in response is that the US is in disarray and won’t be able to put in pace these sanctions. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif personally appealed to US President Donald Trump to rein in Pompeo lest he bring “ridicule on the US. Iran is counting on Russia and China to run the ball for it at the UN and keep the US sanctions weak. Iran believes it has largely outfoxed the Americans and is almost daring the Trump administration to “bring it on” with the sanctions, so as to prove they won’t bite. Iran’s Supreme Leaders and other regime officials boasted this week about how previous invaders of Iran have suffered grievously. In short the regime is saying it will continue doing what it wants, regardless of the US laser focus on the ballistic missiles and nuclear program and the North Korea cooperation.