In parallel with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif's obscene New York Times op-ed entitled "Saudi Arabia’s Reckless Extremism," the Times has published an editorial entitled "Iran’s Other Scary Weapons Program," which calls for, or, perhaps doesn't call for sanctions against Iran for "two recent tests of ballistic missiles, which violated United Nations resolutions." The Times editorial concludes:
"The administration told Congress that missile-related sanctions were coming, then held back, infuriating many lawmakers. While the delay was not explained, this is a delicate moment, and it may make sense to wait because Iran is on the verge of implementing the nuclear deal. Also, an Iranian official told Reuters last week that negotiations are again underway on the possible release of the Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and other Americans held by Iran. Another complication is the recent worsening of the conflict between Shiite-majority Iran and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia.
New sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missiles must still be pursued. The people and agencies most responsible for Iran’s program were hit with sanctions years ago; the new measures would add 11 new individuals and entities to a long list. That should not be so onerous that Iran would walk away from the economic relief it stands to gain from the nuclear deal. And it is an important and necessary way of keeping pressure on Iran to cease its unacceptable activities."
"[I]t may make sense to wait"? Why does this again smack of "leading from behind"? Obama obviously "likes to watch," even when a nation that chants "Death to America!" every Friday hastens the development of ballistic missiles capable of destroying New York and Washington.
"Iran would not walk away from the economic relief it stands to gain from the nuclear deal" if "11 new individuals and entities" are added to an American sanctions list? This would make perfect sense if the Iranians were rational in their pursuit of regional hegemony, but they're not. Still unbeknownst to Obama and his friends on the editorial board of the Times, Iran is a crazy theocracy that is now toying with the United States.
But more to the point, if Obama, at some fuzzy future date, merely intends to protest the Iranian ballistic missile tests by adding "11 new individuals and entities" to America's sanctions list, what is the message he is sending to Khamenei? Bottom line: Obama has done more to undermine American overseas credibility and deterrent power than any other president in recent history.
I say it again: January 20, 2017 cannot come soon enough.