When Iran test fired a new ballistic missile on Sunday, an act it confirmed this morning, it was aware it was taking a calculated risk and, more importantly, was testing America's response and resolve to preserve Obama's nuclear deal. It got the answer this afternoon, when shortly before 2pm, President Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said the United States was officially putting Iran on notice on Wednesday over its "destabilizing activity" after it test-fired a ballistic missile over the weekend.
"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," Flynn told a White House briefing, without explaining exactly what that meant, although it is clear that any more provocations by Iran and whatever existing deals Iran had with the Obama administration will almost certainly be revised if not torn up.
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at White House briefing: "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice." pic.twitter.com/RxtK8B36xu
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 1, 2017
Flynn also added that in his view the ballistic missile launch on Sunday was in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution that called on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons; prior to Flynn's clarification.
The retired general did not detail what actions the administration would take in response to the test, but said that National Security Council staff would brief reporters at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Flynn also criticized former President Obama for being soft on Iran and claiming his administration "failed to respond adequately."
Flynn's full statement is below:
Statement by the National Security Advisor
"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.
The recent ballistic missile launch is also in defiance of UN 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. Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region.
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.
President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama Administration, as well as the United Nations - as being weak and ineffective.
Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened.
As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice."
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Meanwhile, in a separate matter, the WSJ reported that Flynn himself has some ongoing problems of his own when several top Democratic members of Congress asked the Defense Department to investigate whether retired Lt. Gen. Flynn violated the Constitution when he accepted money from a Russian television network that U.S. intelligence officials say is part of a state-funded media apparatus.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the lawmakers said that since Mr. Flynn retired from the Army in 2014, he has appeared regularly on Russia Today, or RT, a state-sponsored television network. The letter also notes that Mr. Flynn acknowledged he was paid to speak at a gala in Moscow celebrating RT’s 10th anniversary in December 2015. At the event, he dined alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The lawmakers said Mr. Flynn may have violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits someone “holding any office of profit or trust”—meaning a public office or military position—from accepting gifts or payments from a foreign country.