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US warns Iran

US warns Iran

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn has forcefully denounced Iran’s behavior, accusing Iran of threatening US allies and spreading instability throughout the Middle East. He also faulted the Obama administration for doing too little to stop the Islamic Republic.

“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said from the White House podium.

Without going into details, the White House has issued a cryptic warning that the US will act against Iran unless it stops testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen. It is still unclear what retaliatory measures the US might take, and senior Trump administration officials said they were actively considering a “range of options” including economic measures and increased support for Iran’s regional adversaries. The officials, however, declined to say whether military action was being considered.

On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted: “Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago!”

According to US officials, the test was of a medium-range ballistic missile, which ended with a “failed” re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.  Reports of the test emerged after Trump signed an executive order last week that temporarily suspends immigration from Iran and six other majority-Muslim countries.

However, the US and Iran agree that the test didn’t violate the nuclear deal itself. The White House also faulted Iran for backing Houthi rebels in Yemen who on Tuesday claimed a successful missile strike against a warship belonging to a Saudi-led coalition fighting to reinstall Yemen’s internationally recognized government. According to the media arm of the Shiite rebels, the vessel was believed to belong to the Saudi Arabian navy.

Administration officials said Iran was providing key support by arming, training and financing the rebels, with a goal of leveraging its relationship with the Houthis to “build a long-term presence in Yemen.”

The White House said the goal in warning Iran was to signal to Tehran that it needed to rethink its behavior. Flynn said Iran specifically violated the UN’s ban on “activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Trump gave his official warning on Twitter on Thursday:

On Wednesday, Iran’s Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan confirmed that Iran conducted a missile test, but did not say when the test was carried out or specify the type of missile, and insisted it wasn’t a violation of UN resolutions.

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