On Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley detailed the evidence revealing how Iran is gifting ballistic missiles to Yemen Houthi Rebels. But what I’m concerned about is the money that Iran is gifting to “Little Rocket Man” in North Korea, or NOKO, and the technology and missile materials Iran receives and swaps in return.
It was no mystery what the discussion was back in August when NOKO’s No. 2 political leader and head of its legislature, Kim Yong-nam, flew to Tehran for a 10-day visit during NOKO’s new embassy opening in Tehran and the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Their subsequent lengthy meetings left no doubt with experts that the regimes are militarily collaborating.
Jeff Daniels at CNBC even reported at the time: Emily Landau, a senior research fellow at the Israeli-based Institute for National Security Studies (an independent think tank affiliated with Tel Aviv University) and head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program, said, “There could be very problematic cooperation going on because of the past history and because it makes strategic sense, especially for Iran now.”
Landau added, “The fact they are cooperating so closely on the missile realm is cause to believe that there could be even more cooperation going on even directly in the nuclear realm.”
Landau isn’t alone in his conclusions.
Matthew Bunn, a nuclear proliferation expert and professor of practice at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, explained, “Both the North Koreans and Iranians feel a serious threat from the United States and the West and sort of see each other as very different countries but facing a somewhat similar situation.”
Bunn added: “There’s been fairly extensive cooperation on missiles. And in fact, early generations of Iranian missiles were thought to be basically modestly adapted North Korean missiles.”
Daniels further explained: “For example, Tehran’s Shahab-3 ballistic missile, capable of reaching Saudi Arabia from Iranian land, is based on technology from North Korea’s Nodong-1 rockets. Iran’s Ghadir small submarine, which in May conducted a cruise-missile test, is a vessel remarkably similar to those used by Pyongyang.”
All along, Iran has played the same nuclear missile shell game that NOKO is playing: for example, how both are saying that their missile testing is not intended to carry nuclear warheads. But even liberal France joined the U.S., U.K. and Germany in condemning Iran’s July launch of a Simorgh space launch vehicle that was “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” if configured as a ballistic missile.
That is why Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo explained back in July at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance that he had “created two new mission centers aimed at focusing on putting a dagger in the heart of the Korean problem and the problem in Iran.”
That dagger apparently hasn’t penetrated, yet.
Around Thanksgiving, the Washington Times reported, “An analysis from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said U.S. intelligence has spotted Iranian defense officials in North Korea over the past year.”
Reva Goujon, vice president of global analysis at Stratfor, the world’s leading geopolitical platform, explained in her must-read article, “Where the North Korean Crisis Meets the Iran Nuclear Deal“: NOKO’s goal is undoubtedly to have a “fully functional nuclear weapon and delivery arsenal,” and they are working with Iran to simultaneously obtain it.
About Iran and NOKO’s nuclear collusion there can be no doubt!
Goujon asks, “What better way to kill your adversaries’ fantasy of regime change than to stand with them as near-equals on a nuclear plane?
And what of Iran?
Goujon warned: “Compared with North Korea, Iran sees a nuclear deterrent as more of a luxury than a strict necessity. Iran’s reliance on global energy trade, its heavy exposure to intelligence oversight from hawkish neighbors like Israel and its people’s ability to channel economic discontent into political change make its pursuit of nuclear arms more perilous.
“Iran’s influence across the Middle East gives it leverage with the United States” that NOKO only dreams about, Goujon added.
This is why it was beyond asinine for former President Obama to make his disastrous U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran, the crony of NOKO and the largest anti-U.S., anti-Israel and pro-terrorist sponsoring state in the world.
It’s still staggering to think the Obama administration gave Iran $1.7 billion in cash! And for what purpose did it think Iran would use that gargantuan amount of U.S. taxpayers’ money? Could Iran be funneling it even now as a Christmas gift and subsidy to NOKO to fuel its nuclear arsenal acquisition, while the rest of the world thinks the U.S. and others are strangling it through sanctions?
While being facetious about a “Christmas gift” between Islamic and atheistic states, what’s truly alarming is considering how Iran’s wealth and technology could help a heavily sanctioned NOKO acquire nuclear capabilities. NOKO spends more than 30 percent of its GDP on its military while 40 percent of its people live below the poverty line.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was absolutely right when he called the Iran nuclear deal a grave tragedy and threat for not only Israel but also a “historic mistake for the world.” NOKO is proof.
Bottom line, the Obama administration emboldened and empowered Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power so its terrorist state could empower little rocket man’s nuclear power and cause the Trump administration to fight both enemies.
When is Washington going to wake up and stop the global cycle insanity of feeding one enemy only to watch it feed another and having the whole situation bite us in the arse?
Washington needs to follow the simple instruction that I saw handwritten on a rocket launcher in Iraq when I was visiting the troops during the war: “Aim at the enemies.”