Obama’s Refusal To Take Iran’s Violations Seriously Can End In ‘Tragedy’ – US Analyst

Obama’s Refusal To Take Iran’s Violations Seriously Can End In ‘Tragedy’ – US Analyst
White House (Pete Souza) [Public domain]

The U.S. has just restarted a missile defense program in response to Iran’s threatening actions that violate multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The U.S. is building a cutting-edge advanced missile defense system after Iran recently violated a series of UN Security Council resolutions, according to Business Insider.

It was reported by Reuters, citing two anonymous U.S. officials, that Iran “tested a liquid-fueled missile … capable of carrying a nuclear warhead” a few weeks ago. The move appears to be threatening for the reason that it is Iran’s second instance of illicit ballistic-missile test since the nuclear deal signed earlier this year.

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The U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran signed a historical deal on July 14. The deal imposes strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from the sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.

The nuclear deal has somewhat deescalated the tensions between the West and Iran. But with Tehran launching illicit ballistic-missile tests, the tensions could get even more serious than before the deal.

In October, Tehran tested a long-range, nuclear-capable Emad-class missile, which triggered quite an uproar in the West.

With the U.S. saying it is conducting a “serious review” of Iran’s second ballistic missile test in violation of two U.N. Security Council resolutions, analysts wonder if Washington is ever going to take Iran’s violations of the nuclear agreements seriously.

Consequences of Obama’s refusal to take Iranian threats seriously

“The problem here isn’t so much these particular missiles, although they do pose a potentially lethal threat both to Israel and moderate Arab nations in the region,” Jonathan S. Tobin, an author of the Commentary magazine, wrote in his piece on Tuesday. “Rather, it is the precedent that has been set by an American refusal to take Iran’s violations of these agreements seriously.”

The author also notes that even though U.S. President Barack Obama apparently wishes to ignore Iran’s violations of the nuclear deal, “sooner or later, a reckoning will have to be made of the mess that this administration will bequeath to the nation abroad.”

And when that happens, according to Tobin, the world will look back on Obama’s current actions and understand that a refusal to “enforce the already weak nuclear deal set in motion a series of events that can only end in tragedy.”

The author also said that “given the apathetic reaction from an Obama administration that spent the first half of 2015 pledging vigilant enforcement of the deals it was advocating, it is impossible to argue that they should feel afraid of the consequences of further violations.”

However, Business Insider notes that the nuclear tests are not going to surprise U.S. officials, since a vast number of them have repeatedly said nuclear diplomacy would not be enough to stop Iran from further developing its nuclear program.

U.S. top missile defense official has expected Iran to do this kind of threatening actions. Vice Admiral James Syring, the head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said during his speeches in front of congressional subcommittees on June 11, 2014, and March 19, 2015, that he anticipated major Iranian ballistic missile developments in the nearest future.

Obama criticized for Iran’s nuclear deal

During his March 2015 testimony, Syring revealed that he believes Iran wants to expand rather than put limitations on its nuclear capabilities.

“Iran has publicly stated it intends to launch a space-launch vehicle as early as this year (2015) that could be capable of intercontinental ballistic missile ranges if configured as such,” Syring said. “Iran also has steadily increased its ballistic missile force, deploying next-generation short- and medium-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs and MRBMs) with increasing accuracy and new submunition payloads.”

U.S. top missile defense official also said that ballistic development has always been important to Iran’s future military posture in the world. “Tehran’s overall defense strategy relies on a substantial inventory of theater ballistic missiles capable of striking targets in southeastern Europe,” Syring said.

Even during talks to reach the nuclear deal with Iran, top US missile defense officials did not expect Tehran to arrest its ballistic missile development, and criticized Obama for putting so much effort into making the deal happen.

U.S. has restarted missile defense program to counter Iranian nuclear threats

But apparently, the U.S. is ready to counter an emerging Iranian nuclear capability. Washington has recently restarted its major missile defense program, according to Business Insider.

Nearly a month after the Iranian nuclear deal was reached, the Department of Defense awarded a $9.8 million contract to Boeing to “define a concept” for a multiple-kill vehicle (MVK). The vehicle presents an anti-missile system that can destroy multiple incoming targets.

The MKV program was halted in 2009 after Obama entered his first presidential term, but it was reintroduced under the National Defense Authoritarian Act in May 2015. The MKV apparently strengthens U.S. missile defense capabilities. The MKV is capable of destroying both the decoy – warheads meant to fool defense systems – and the actual warheads.

Moreover, the MKV is capable of intercepting multiple missile salvos launched from an enemy missile system with an aim to fool U.S. missile defense. Syring said during his March 2015 testimony that the MKV will “revolutionize” U.S. missile defense. He also said that the MKV is basically designed to counter all kinds of capabilities and threats coming from Iran.

“Iran … has publicly demonstrated the ability to launch simultaneous salvos of multiple rockets and missiles,” Syring said.

According to Space News, the U.S. plans the MKV to enter military service by 2020.

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Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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