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U.S. Puts Iran 'On Notice' Over Ballistic-Missile Test

RFE/RL February 01, 2017

The U.S. government has said it is "officially putting Iran on notice" over Tehran's recent test of a medium-range ballistic missile.

U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn told journalists in Washington on February 1 that the move comes in response to Iran's "destabilizing behavior."

Flynn did not specify exactly what being "put on notice" entailed.

Asked about this at a press conference, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, "We felt as though their actions were both provocative and in violation."

He said Flynn's statement made "sure that they understand that we aren't going to sit by and not act on those actions."

Flynn's statement attacked the administration of former President Barack Obama for allegedly failing "to respond adequately to Tehran's malign actions."

It noted that President Donald Trump has "severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama administration, as well as the United Nations, as being weak and ineffective."

These agreements had "emboldened" Iran, Flynn said.

Flynn's statement also cited "an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Huthi militants" as an example of Iran's aggression.

He charged that Iranian-trained militants had "threatened U.S. and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea."

The United States believes Iran's missile test was a violation of a UN Security Council resolution banning the country from developing nuclear-capable weapons systems.

At a closed UN Security Council session on January 31, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Iran's test was "absolutely unacceptable."

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said on February 1 that "the recent missile test is in line with our plans and we will not let any foreigner meddle with our defense issues."

Dehghan said the test did not violate the Security Council resolution or Iran's nuclear deal with leading international powers.

The UN Security Council has requested the secretary-general and a UN committee on Iran affairs to compile a report on the test.

Flynn's comments were his first public statements since Trump took office on January 20.

In March 2015, Iran tested two ballistic missiles, one of which was decorated with the phrase "Israel must be wiped out" in Hebrew.

With reporting by CNN and Reuters

Source: test-flynn-on-notice/28273787.html

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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