Iran has been restrained in its response to the US warning that it is “officially on notice” over its regional policies and ballistic missile tests, with one high-ranking official describing them on Feb. 2 as “hollow threats.” The harsh reactions out of Washington were prompted by an Iranian missile test conducted Jan. 29.
At the request of the United States, the UN Security Council convened Jan. 31 to discuss the missile launch. After the meeting, Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, said the council should take action over what she called an “alarming” test.
The following day, US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said at a White House press briefing that the missile test had been “in defiance” of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s nuclear deal with the six world powers. He also said, “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.”
President Donald Trump echoed the latter on Feb. 2, tweeting, “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the US made with them!”
Of note, the nuclear deal does not address Iran’s ballistic missile program, while UN Security Council Resolution 2231 states, “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” The language of the resolution is nonbinding, while Tehran has on repeated occasions stated that it has no plans to design missiles capable of delivering atomic weapons.
In this vein, Iran’s defense minister, Gen. Hossein Dehghan, on Feb. 1 said, “The recent [missile] test is in line with our plans, and we will not allow any foreigner to interfere in our defense affairs.” The following day, he pronounced the test a success.