In its continuing humiliation of President Obama – who clings to his Iran deal despite Iran’s continuing to call for “Death to America,” banning of further negotiations with the U.S., convicting of one of its American hostages of bogus espionage charges, joining with Russia to prop up Assad by bombing America-backed insurgents, and contemptuously asserting that it will ignore provisions of the deal to which it objects – the jihadist regime in Tehran tested a ballistic missile over the weekend in blatant violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2231, which codifies the Iran deal.
The Obama White House response to Iran’s brazenness today is astonishing, even by delusional Obama standards. The president’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, acknowledged there were “strong indications that those missile tests did violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that pertain to Iran’s ballistic missile activities.” Nevertheless, he maintained with a straight face that “this is altogether separate from the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with the rest of the world.”
What? The resolution that implements the said nuclear agreement directs Iran, for approximately the next eight years,
not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology[.] [Annex B, Paragraph 3.]
This, mind you, is the resolution that Obama ran to the U.N. to get before Congress was permitted to review and vote on the Iran deal. Since that deal expressly prohibits the precise activity in which Iran has now engaged, how can this violation be “altogether separate” from the deal?
According to Earnest, they are separate because (a) nuclear activities are somehow separate from activities involving ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons; (b) Security Resolution 2231 that implements the Iran deal is somehow separate from other Security Council resolutions that ban Iran’s ballistic missile activities even though Resolution 2231, too, bans Iran’s ballistic missile activities; and (c) Iran’s pattern of violating international law pertaining to ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons is somehow irrelevant to the administration’s level of confidence that it will adhere to its commitments regarding nuclear weapons development, notwithstanding that it has a history of flouting those commitments, too.
Obama promised that if Iran cheated, the sanctions would instantly “snap back.” As I’ve pointed out before, there was never the remotest chance that this was true – indeed, the fine print of the Iran deal ensures that sanctions will not snap back by exempting commerce with Iran undertaken pursuant to the deal.
But here Iran is not just cheating. It is mocking its commitments in broad daylight. And what is Obama’s reaction? He takes on the role of Iran’s defense lawyer, parsing and nullifying the restrictions in his own deal.
The ink hasn’t yet dried and it is already manifest that Obama’s Iran deal is a farce that provides aid and comfort to a committed enemy of the United States. Is Congress planning to do anything about that?
A version of this piece previously appeared on National Review Online.