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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Jay Solomon, "White House Delays Imposing New Sanctions on Iran for Missile Program ": Profiles in Cowardice



Yesterday I wrote:

"There is no way that Tehran will placidly accept new American sanctions stemming from Iran's recent ballistic missile tests in violation of UN Security Council resolutions."

Well, in a Wall Street Journal article entitled "White House Delays Imposing New Sanctions on Iran for Missile Program," Jay Solomon also informed us yesterday:

"The White House has delayed its plan to impose new financial sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, according to U.S. officials, amid growing tensions with Iran over the nuclear deal struck earlier this year.

. . . .

Republican leaders on Thursday accused the Obama administration of losing its will to challenge Iran after Tehran countered on Thursday that it would accelerate the development of its arsenal.

'If the president’s announced sanctions ultimately aren’t executed, it would demonstrate a level of fecklessness that even the president hasn’t shown before,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a leading critic of the nuclear deal, in an interview.'

. . . .

The State Department offered no explanation for the delay."

Acceleration of Iran's ballistic missile programs? Indeed, as reported by Iran's Fars News Agency yesterday:

"Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday ordered Defense Minister General Hossein Dehqan to enhance and accelerate development of the country's missile capability in response to the United States' new sanctions against Tehran's defense program.

President Rouhani noted the United States' "hostile policies and illegal and illegitimate meddling against Iran's right to develop its defensive power", and ordered the defense minister to accelerate production of various types of missiles needed by the Iranian Armed Forces more powerfully.

'As the United States seems to plan to include the names of new individuals and firms in its previous list of cruel sanctions in line with its hostile policies and illegitimate and illegal meddling in the Islamic Republic of Iran's right to reinvigorate its defense power, the program for the production of the Armed Forces' needed missiles is required to continue more speedily and seriously,' President Rouhani's written order to the Defense Minister read.

President Rouhani's decree came in reaction to the US Treasury Department's announcement that it is preparing sanctions on two Iran-linked networks helping develop the missile program.

The presidential decree also required the defense ministry to think of new missile production programs at a much wider scale in case Washington continues its sanctions policy against Iran's defense industries."

Ah yes, Rouhani the "moderate" . . .

However, Obama is not taking this talk of White House "fecklessness" lying down. As reported today in a lead Washington Post article entitled "Obama thinks his Syria strategy is right — and folks just don’t get it" by Karen DeYoung:

"As President Obama flew home from Asia aboard Air Force One in late November, he scolded his aides about how poorly the administration was communicating the U.S.-led strategy against the Islamic State.

. . . .

Aides agreed that the message they had heard on the road was 'jarring,' said a senior administration official who was on the flight.

But while many outside the administration found the strategy itself lacking, Obama felt what they really needed was to do a better job of explaining it. He ordered what the official called an 'uptick in our communications tempo.'"

Got it: The first invertebrate to occupy the Oval Office seeks to counter talk of presidential cowardice, bungling of American foreign policy in the Middle East, and failure to prevent terror attacks within the US with a new communications campaign. Why am I not surprised?

January 20, 2017 cannot come soon enough.

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