By Shahriar Kia
Following Iran’s most recent testing of a ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in the Middle East and even Europe, many countries have spoken out against Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the news on Saturday, saying on Twitter: “The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that’s capable of carrying multiple warheads. This test violates UNSCR 2231. Iran’s missile testing & missile proliferation is growing. We condemn this act and call upon Iran to cease these activities.”
Iran, as predictable as ever, defended its actions even though the international community is suggesting that it is violating UN Security Council resolution 2231. It even declared that it had no intentions to stop test-firing ballistic missiles.
Iran’s brazen admission has put the European Union into a difficult position because it had been siding with Iran over the United States’ exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) as it is formally known. It has even been trying to implement a workaround so that the U.S. sanctions that are in place don’t effect European enterprises.
The E.U. pleaded with President Trump to remain within the framework of the deal, but he resisted the pressure and announced that he was not remaining party to a deal that did not serve the interests of the United States. Then he urged the European Union to support his administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran. The EU resisted, doing everything in its power to appease Iran into keeping the deal intact.
However, things may change from now on in. When the United States announced that Iran had test-fired a ballistic missile, France and the United Kingdom, both signatories to the nuclear agreement, called on the UN Security Council to meet to discuss Iran’s violation. The meeting may not actually be able to produce the results that the United Kingdom and France are calling for because Russia has the opportunity to veto and take any pressure away from Iran. The UN will then probably have some problems when it comes to dealing with Iran’s ballistic missile activities, despite its resolution.
Furthermore, there has been much said about containing Iran. Containment, however, is not enough to deal with the Iran threat – it is an illusion; not something that is ever possible. The United States’ maximum pressure campaign must be maintained and it should be supported by other countries.
Appeasement is the strategy that President Trump’s predecessor opted for. And it failed. It is not just that it was ineffective and failed to produce results – it failed spectacularly because it made Iran even bolder in its belligerence.
The people of Iran – the regime’s first victims – have the right idea. They are taking their future into their own hands and are calling for regime change. They know that the claims of moderation are so far from reality and that the regime cannot be contained. If the people get what they want – regime change, with it will come freedom and democracy. And the fizzling out of numerous conflicts across the Middle East.