An increasingly belligerent Iran, which was handed billions of dollars from American taxpayers by the Obama administration but tested a missile this week in apparent violation of international rules, Wednesday was put on notice by the Trump administration.
The warning comes from the White House national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who said “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.”
Explaining that the Obama administration “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions—including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms,” Flynn said 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.”
“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said.
He didn’t define “on notice,” but Trump already is on record criticizing the various promises, payments and commitments made to Iran by both the U.S. and the United Nations as “weak and ineffective.”
“Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened,” the national security adviser said. “The recent ballistic missile launch is also in defiance of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran ‘not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.’
“These are just the latest of a series of incidents in the past six months in which Houthi forces that Iran has trained and armed have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels, and threatened U.S. and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea. In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region.”
“This is serious stuff,” said radio host Rush Limbaugh. “The Trump administration realized they were gonna cheat on [the nuclear deal with Iran]. That I think is exactly what’s happened here. I also think it’s a smart move.”
Iran has insisted its missile test does not violate the nuclear agreement with world powers or the U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Trump said during his election campaign he would bring a halt to Iran’s missile program.
The other recent aggression was the attack on a Saudi Arabian vessel by Houthi militants. Two Saudi sailors were killed.
The Saudis said, “A Saudi frigate on patrol west of the port city of Hodeida was hit by a terrorist attack from three suicide boats belonging to the Houthi militias,” likely from Yemen.
Yemen’s Houthi militants have received support from Iran.
WND reported that after Obama secretly transferred $1.7 billion to Iran’s rogue regime – at least partly in an apparent ransom payment for American hostages – Tehran promptly raised its budget for its Revolutionary Guard.
“In seeking to strengthen the policy of rapprochement with Iran, the Obama administration (through its Treasury Department) has surreptitiously transferred to [Iran President Hassan] Rohani’s government two tranches, in cash, for a total of $1.7 billion, allegedly as the cumulative interest on Iran’s deposits, made during the Shah regime before the 1979 revolution, for the purchase of American weapons,” reported Nimrod Raphaeli, a senior analyst at the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Raphaeli acknowledged it’s “a commonly accepted premise that money is fungible.”
“While we cannot establish whether the money transferred from the U.S. went directly into the expanded defense budget, it, at a minimum, enabled the government to release an equal amount of money for defense purposes,” he wrote.
“It is noteworthy that the increase in the proposed defense budget for 2017 is approximately equal to the amount transferred by the U.S.,” he continued.
“Whatever the source of the defense budget increase, the IRGC will have ample resources to expand its nefarious activities far beyond the borders of the Islamic Republic,” the report said.
Commentators, including Ari Lieberman at FrontPage Magazine, were critical last year when it finally was revealed that Obama shipped boxes of cash to Iran and then refused to “say where the funds ended up.”
He called it the latest “fiasco” and “reflected a settlement of Iran’s claims against the U.S. stemming from the 1979 aborted arms transaction.”
“Ironically, the Iranians were not required to pay anything to the 52 American hostages they kidnapped in 1979. Those hostages were held in dungeon-like conditions for 444 days. Like all transactions conducted by the Obama administration, the benefits flow one way.”
Lieberman found that even though the Obama administration denied it, “it is clear that the first installment of $400 million was a ransom payment made to secure the release of Americans held hostage in Iran.”
“We thought that Obama could stoop no lower after he traded five hard-core Taliban terrorists held at Guantanamo for the deserter and traitor Bowe Bergdal. We were wrong,” Lieberman wrote. “The feckless White House is now in the business of disgracefully paying two-bit dictators protection money.
“Obama can issue all the denials he wants but if it walks like a ransom payment and talks like a ransom payment, it is most likely a ransom payment.”
WND reported in September that Obama may gave gifted Iran an extra $33.6 billion in secret cash and gold payments between 2015 and 2016, an expert on the Iran nuclear deal told Congress.
Tehran received $700 million every month between January 2014 and July 2015 as Obama nailed down details of the nuclear agreement, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Ultimately, the U.S. was set to pay Iran $11.9 billion, but Mark Dubowitz, executive director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said even details surrounding those funds are questionable.
“Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals,” Dubowitz told Congress.
Obama also gave Iran $1.7 billion in hard currency just prior to Tehran releasing four American hostages.
Obama’s State Department then was caught admitting to lying to the public about the deal and ultimately trying to conceal the admission from reporters.
It also was revealed, according to a United Nations nuclear watchdog, that the Obama administration gave Iran secret exemptions to the nuclear deal, allowing the terror-sponsoring state to stockpile uranium in larger amounts than the limits imposed by the 2015 pact.
It was on July 14, 2015, the Obama administration negotiated and signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, a nuclear deal between Iran, the United States and the “P5+1,” which included France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union. The Obama administration pushed the deal through and agreed to major terms without consulting with the U.S. Senate. The White House championed the plan as “the historic deal that will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”