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U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran After Putting Country ‘On Notice’ Over Missile Test

Trump admin complains Iran not responding appropriately to "very favorable" nuclear deal.

White HouseWhite HouseThe Treasury Department announced it was imposing new sanctions on a number of individuals and entities it said were connected to Iran's missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard's Quds force.

In a statement released earlier today, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who yesterday said Iran was being put "on notice" over a ballistic missile test that appeared to violate the U.N. security council resolution that endorsed the Iran deal, said the sanctions were a response to a pattern of behavior from Iran.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in and supports violent activities that destabilize the Middle East," Flynn said in the statement. "This behavior seems continuous despite the very favorable deal given to Iran by the Obama administration. These sanctions target these behaviors."

The U.S. also deployed the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole to the Gulf of Aden in response to missiles fired by Houthi rebels (who control the government) in Yemen at a Saudi frigate. While Saudi Arabia and the ousted government in Yemen insist the Houthi rebels are Iranian-backed, and the claim is often repeated unsourced by various U.S. media outlets, no substantive evidence of the claim has materialized. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer mischaracterized the incident as Iran firing at a US Navy vessel. Although he corrected the identity of the vessel fired at after being asked by a reporter, the Trump administration is in alignment with much of the U.S. media in conflating the rebels in Yemen with the government of Iran.

Donald Trump, notably, was one of only a few Republican presidential candidates who did not make some version of a promise to tear apart the Iran nuclear deal on day one, instead complaining about it being a poorly negotiated one. His secretary of defense, James Mattis, has expressed support for the deal while acknowledging it was flawed, saying the U.S. should keep its word. Mattis, like some other Trump nominees, also expressed concern about Russia's own aggressive foreign policy. The pronouncements came after several months of fearmongering over Russia by Democrats, many of whom chose to blame the foreign country instead of their own party or candidate.

A substantive, meaningful détente with Russia, which as a burgeoning alliance with Iran, might have opened up new avenues for the U.S. and Iran to work through their disagreements instead of posturing through actions like missile test launches or sanctions and bellicose public statements. The early moves on Iran suggest Trump's warm words for the authoritarian in charge of Russia may not translate to a less belligerent U.S. foreign policy toward countries not in the U.S. foreign policy establishment's orbit.

Photo Credit: White House

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  • John||

    How is the US being belligerent ED? Iran is the one lobbing missiles to threaten their neighbors. Will there ever be a conflict where you don't view the US as the aggressor?

    If Iran is so damned peaceful, why are they buying missiles and conducting missile tests that they know will threaten their neighbors? Is possible that Reason admit any country other than the US is the aggressor? Just once?

  • Ed||

    The only time "aggressive" shows up in this post is to describe Russia's foreign policy.

  • John||

    The early moves on Iran suggest Trump's warm words for the authoritarian in charge of Russia may not translate to a less belligerent U.S. foreign policy toward countries not in the U.S. foreign policy establishment's orbit.

    That doesn't refer to US foreign policy? What are you saying there other than the US is being belligerent?

  • Ed||

    Yes, because it is, vis a vis Russia, Iran, and other countries. Yet you complained about not admitting any other country is an aggressor when I called Russia's foreign policy just that and acknowledged Iran's role in bellicose posturing. The US has a history of aggressive foreign policy. Countless books have been written about it. A lot of your responses suggest you'd like to have that re-litigated in every post about foreign policy. But you also complain about no other country ever getting called out but they do, in this very post.

  • Ed||

    Yes, because it is, vis a vis Russia, Iran, and other countries. Yet you complained about not admitting any other country is an aggressor when I called Russia's foreign policy just that and acknowledged Iran's role in bellicose posturing. The US has a history of aggressive foreign policy. Countless books have been written about it. A lot of your responses suggest you'd like to have that re-litigated in every post about foreign policy. But you also complain about no other country ever getting called out but they do, in this very post.

  • DesigNate||

    The squirrels don't even answer to the actual writers? What terrible times these are indeed.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Clearly, H&R squirrels are anarchists of some sort. It's nuts.

  • straffinrun||

    Hey, Charles. Wasn't trying to insult you the other day. Just saying sorry that it came off that way.

  • Charles Easterly||

    straffinrun,

    I am at a loss here. I don't remember being insulted. For the past several minutes I looked for the posts in question in order that I could reread them and determine where or how I gave you the impression that I was insulted. Obviously I did not find the posts.

    I think that this is the second time I gave you the impression that you offended me in some manner. Let's agree upon this if you are willing: If I am insulted or offended by you I will inform you of it. However, I do not expect that happening.

    I share the top hat factory with a couple of individuals, and if they posted something while I went to motivate the workers (who are paid living wages I will have you know), then I will impress upon co-inhabitants the error of their ways.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Charles is a stand up polite guy. In fact, he is the epitome of civility around here. Do not insult Charles.

  • straffinrun||

    It's a deal. No harm, no foul.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Double post means that John wins the debate. Sorry, but those are the rules.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Wha?? I thought it was the other way around. Usually, whoever says something more often ends up winning the debate.

  • SomeGuy||

    yea but here at reason everything is backwards. The writers are progs and the commentators are libertarians.

  • Password: pode$ta||

    Trump is President.

    Trump is belligerent.

    The US is belligerent.

    QED

  • mashed potatoes||

    Because they don't want to be left in a situation where theyou can't defend themselves and lose up to 500,000 citizens. Can't that same reasoning be applied to Saudi or anyone else buying and testing missiles??

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o7wiroruAKo

  • mashed potatoes||

    I mean, I understand people that don't take them at their word, but I can also see how living through a catastrophy like iran Iraq war and thinking you have to be prepared for that again

  • John||

    Obama spent 8 years kissing their asses and giving them anything they wanted. He finally gave them a $150 billion going away present, in untracable cash. How is that working out?

  • Viking1865||

    I mean, I don't think you're going to find many libertarians who advocate giving billions in tax dollars to foreign regimes. There's a whole lot of middle ground between "go to war for peace" and "give the Iranians whatever they want."

    I just really really hate the idea of getting a CVN full of American sailors vaporized because the House of Saud really really likes their cushy lifestyles. Call me old fashioned, but the whole imperial grunt thing never really sat well with me. I've got this crazy belief that American blood should be shed in defense of America.

  • Viking1865||

    I mean, I don't think you're going to find many libertarians who advocate giving billions in tax dollars to foreign regimes. There's a whole lot of middle ground between "go to war for peace" and "give the Iranians whatever they want."

    I just really really hate the idea of getting a CVN full of American sailors vaporized because the House of Saud really really likes their cushy lifestyles. Call me old fashioned, but the whole imperial grunt thing never really sat well with me. I've got this crazy belief that American blood should be shed in defense of America.

  • Juice||

    Obama spent 8 years kissing their asses and giving them anything they wanted.

    *eyeroll* *jerking motion*

  • John||

    Yes. it is totally that. It has nothing to do with the country being run by a bunch of lunatics who pretty much daily vow to bring the 12th Imam back to earth by building nukes and restoring Shia dominance over Islam.

    And the US invades any country that doesn't have missiles. No country the US ever invaded was in any way belligerent to the US or its allies. Nope. I mean, countries like Costa Rica and Morocco and Bolivia live in daily fear the US might invade.

    If you think Iran is some benign regime being bullied by the evil US. you are fucking retarded. I am sorry but your parents apparently had at least one kid who didn't make it.

  • mashed potatoes||

    No, I understand iran is active in the world. I don't really think they actually believe the end of the world stuff. But heck, chalabi and Iraqi national congress were just assets of Iran and they duped us into invading Iraq by feeding us fake wmd intelligence.

    I might be biased because I hate the Saudis, Wasabis, and salafis with the passion of a 100 suns. I think iran is less of a threat then them.

  • mashed potatoes||

    Wahabis

  • ||

    Don't be ashamed, I hate wasabi too.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    But how do you feel about Wahabi sauce?

  • ||

    But kidding aside, I agree. I think any rational look ME history can't avoid the conclusion that Iran is one of the more stable and reasonable players, while certain populations of the Arabian Peninsula have some pretty scary attitudes.

    I put the whole "Iranian leadership want to manifest the 12th Imam" thing on about the same plane as the accusations that Bush was in a secret millennial Christian cult that was trying to bring about the Apocalypse.

  • Charles Easterly||

    I looked and yet did not find a video clip superior to this one to obliquely back your point, S=C while simultaneously attempting to offer evidence that some of the media outlets in the United States are not to be trusted.

  • Juice||

    But heck, chalabi and Iraqi national congress were just assets of Iran and they duped us into invading Iraq by feeding us fake wmd intelligence.

    No, the conclusion to invade Iraq was final. The IC knew Chalabi was foll of shit, but Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz shut them up and went with the WMD story because it helped the cause for war.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Sanctions are evil.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Sanctions are evil.

    Why do you hate your inherently justgovernment, Chipper?

  • Juice||

    How is the US being belligerent ED?

    Seriously?

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    You've joined that club, too?

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    I intended this for password guy.

  • Password: pode$ta||

    Not really, although I may have some form of TDSDS. As well as SDDS and I might be the first known case of RSDS.

    I am strongly against interventionism. But, a nuclear armed Iran is a bad thing. A nuclear armed Iran with ballistic missiles is probably going to end in catastrophe. I hardly see moving a missile cruiser into the region as a sign of belligerence, and certainly not a sign of "a more belligerent foreign policy."

  • ||

    I hardly see moving a missile cruiser into the region as a sign of belligerence, and certainly not a sign of "a more belligerent foreign policy."

    ^ This.

    I don't agree that a nuclear-armed Iran is a bad thing or likely to end in catastrophe; I even think in the long run it will probably do some good.

    BUT, in the context of international politics at this moment, you have to be a freaking idiot to think Iran isn't working on a nuclear missile program, and considering the posturing regarding that, I don't see that there's any option that safeguards our credibility without some kind of WTF signaling.

    OTOH, I don't think the American public is going to get behind direct military action against Iran, and I don't think those folks in Europe and Asia who are drafting up trade agreements with Iran are going to, either.

    The current question is, now that we've whipped out our balls and plunked them down on the table, how do we gracefully stuff them back in and zip back up without losing face, given that we all know the country doesn't have another protracted war in it at the moment?

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    The current question is, now that we've whipped out our balls and plunked them down on the table, how do we gracefully stuff them back in and zip back up without losing face, given that we all know the country doesn't have another protracted war in it at the moment?

    That's why you don't say things Obama's "red line" nonsense, or take it out and slap it on the table without a plan. As we know, the Russians don't take a dump without a man. Does the Trump administration put a country on notice without a plan?

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    don't take a dump without a man.

    shut up.

  • ||

    That's why you don't say things Obama's "red line" nonsense, or take it out and slap it on the table without a plan. As we know, the Russians don't take a dump without a man. Does the Trump administration put a country on notice without a plan?

    ^ Exactly this.

    I in no way mean to imply that I agree with the posturing. I'm just agreeing with Password guy that it isn't really a change of course in our policy toward Iran - it's just a failure to recognize that a change in course is needed.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    My apologies, and I agree.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I don't agree that a nuclear-armed Iran is a bad thing or likely to end in catastrophe; I even think in the long run it will probably do some good.

    I completely disagree with this. Not so much because Iran is uniquely aggressive in the region, but that their acquiring nuclear weapons and regional delivery systems will induce the Saudis and other Gulf nations to acquire them too. I harp on this, but when that happens (if it hasn't happened already), the situation that will result will be far less stable than the US/USSR or India/Pakistan MAD situations were/are.

    In short, when things come to a crisis, both of them will realize how much their situation encourages a first strike, and will not be able to be satisfied such a strike isn't on the way.

    Making the prediction now: if Iran gets a thermonuclear capable IRBM capability, you'll see mushrooms sprout throughout the Gulf in no more than ten years afterwards.

  • DenverJ||

    Mmmm.... mushrooms...

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    "Iran, you've been PUT ON NOTICE" from the President may not be belligerent, but it is retarded.

  • The Hyperbole||

    Wait til he puts 'em on double secret probation!

  • Password: pode$ta||

    Maybe! But the belligerence thing is all I was bitching about.

    Also, see Rufus's comment below.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    I thought you were bitching that Ed wrote that because of Trump.

    *hugs*

  • Password: pode$ta||

    It's been a rough few days. We're all in this together.

  • ||

    Iran's theocracy are a major source of all that ails the Mid-East.

    I don't think America, given its role in the region, is being belligerent given Iran's history.

    Iran and Saudi Arabia - the twin pillars acting as destabilizers in the region.

    A guy I knew - an Arab - once told me a blunt story on how things work out there. When the Syrians were ball busting the Turks over something years ago, the Turks asked them to stop. But the Syrians kept doing it. Finally, the Turks, in a show of force, simply mobilized on the border. The Syrians backed down.

    Sometimes that's all is needed. In fact, some historians have argued had the British and French simply organized on the Rhine it could have discouraged Hitler.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    You know who else would have been discouraged, oh wait, nm.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Between them and the Wahabis, they're still the better option. It also just feels like the Iranian public is a little more capable of liberalizing. The antagonism with the US is probably a key factor propping up the regime and hampering liberals. If we could get them to make nice with Israel (say, negotiate a truce where any nuclear attack against Iran would invite nuclear retaliation from Israel), there would be little reason not to try to improve relations.

  • King's Ransom||

    ant1sthenes I would like to introduce to my friend Mr Reality, Mr Reality this is ant1sthenes....why don't you two spend some time getting to know each other ok?

  • DenverJ||

    How's he wrong? The Iranian people are educated, even the women. The Saudis run a medieval and theocratic country that makes the Puritans look like hedonists.
    I do disagree with square=circle that the leadership of Iran doesn't really believe the 12 Imam thing. I think the crazies are in charge in Iran. Hey! I've got a great idea! Let's change that. We could call it "regime change".

  • ||

    Without a doubt he's right.

    And the West never seemed to understand this.

  • MWG||

    Also, from from everything I've read and seen reagarding Iran's population, they're infinitely and ironically more pro American than the Sunni/Wahabi population of Saudi Arabia.

  • Fire Dalmia (DoM5k)||

    If we could get them to make nice with Israel

    lolz

  • Charles Easterly||

    I don't think America, given its role in the region, is being belligerent given Iran's history.

    The United States' government supports democracy. This is known, correct?

    Was Mohammed Mosaddeq democratically elected by the citizens of Iran, Rufus?
    What happened to Mohammed Mosaddeq and thus Iran in 1953?
    Who made what happened, happen?
    Who replaced the democratically elected Mosaddeq?

    Citizens and their progeny tend to remember such events.

  • ||

    I'm not disputing the history and you're correct, but I was referring to the current situation.

    Alas, maybe I should have considered the history since, as you state, people do have long memories sometimes.

  • Rothbard'sbitch||

    Isn't there a well or something that the 12th imam is supposed to climb out of? Drop a bomb down that.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Just burn the videotape so no one can watch it.

  • Episteme||

    Mattis is great. He's not going to look like the bad guy by breaking any of the Obama deal (like everyone expects the Trump Administration to do), but he's going to tie the mullahs down on every other new bad action, so that they have no recourse but either (A) start behaving themselves or (B) publically break the deal themselves to open up space to operate (and show everyone who they are).

  • Lowen||

    Secret money for hostages is all that needs to be stated about this. What a disaster Obama was and no wonder he was campaigning for his carry my torch candidate Hillary.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Reason's policy that all US federal welfare is permanent extends to both cities such as Berkeley and all the way to Iran.

    I seem to recall a time when Reason was against this sort of thing. Perhaps it was a mirage.

  • Juice||

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism...

    ORLY? Not Saudi Arabia? Not governments that support "moderate rebels" in Syria, like say, the USA?

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