Europeans Concerned about Missile Test as US Puts Iran ‘On Notice’

How will the U.S. respond to Iran’s missile test? Military option unlikely, but not off the table. US F-22 jet. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

The global community reacted to Iran’s recent missile test with concern this week, while the Trump Administration took it a step further and declared that “as of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” That veiled threat was given by U.S. national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, according to a report from Al-Monitor, which further noted that an anonymous senior administration official told a press briefing the Americans would be “less shy” about speaking out against Iranian misdeeds.

The Americans, via a second unnamed official speaking to the media, said they had a “large range of options” in responding to Iran, including economic steps and support for “hose challenging Iran’s malign activity.” The U.S. officials chose not to explicitly take the military option off the table, but just noted that they were deliberating their response. One official said they were considering their options, and “how we want to communicate and enforce our concerns.” That word—“concern”—was a popular expression in responding to Sunday’s Iranian missile test, considered by multiple nations to violate United Nations Resolution 2231.

The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, called the test “inconsistent with UN resolution” and “very concerning” via his Twitter feed. The German Federal Foreign Office felt similarly. In a press release, a spokesperson said that the news “gives cause for serious concern.”

Germany “condemns such tests as a matter of principle. They are, in our view, incompatible with UN Security Council resolution 2231,” said the spokesperson. “…Given the current situation, such tests heighten tensions in the Near and Middle East.”

The Americans distinguished between the missile situation and the Iranian nuclear deal, stating the tests do not violate the much maligned agreement. This implies they both intend to maintain the deal while at the same time laying the groundwork for possibly imposing sanctions outside the nuclear arrangement.

The U.S. said Iran should rethink their actions, while the Germans called upon Iran “to avoid all actions that give rise to greater distrust. What we need is de‑escalation, confidence building and the adoption of a constructive role by Iran in solving regional conflicts.”

And while the Americans weren’t saying how they would respond to such tests, one official said “there should be no doubt” as to the determination by the U.S. to “hold Iran accountable.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, February 1, 2017)

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