Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA supports the Trump administration’s imposing new sanctions on Friday February 3rd on “multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods [Jerusalem] Force (IRGC-QF).” (See “Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force,” U.S. Dept. of Treasury Press Center, Feb. 3, 2017) The Trump administration’s sanctions appear to be well thought-out and well-tailored to target three distinct networks actively involved in procuring equipment for Iran’s ballistic missile program, and individuals involved in facilitating millions of dollars of cash transfers to Hezbollah. (U.S. Treasury Feb. 3, 2017 announcement cited above. Also see “Trump Administration Hits Iran With Fresh Sanctions,” WSJ, Feb. 3, 2017.)
The IRGC-QF provides weapons, training, funding and logistical support to Iranian terrorist proxies, including designated foreign terrorist organization Hezbollah, Hamas, Iraq-based militias, the PFLP, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, and other terror groups throughout the world; has tentacles throughout the world including in South America; has been implicated in major terror attacks on U.S. personnel and interests; and, as the U.S. Treasury Dept. noted when it designated the IRGC-GF as a foreign terrorist organization in 2007, is also one of the primary Iranian organizations involved in developing ballistic missiles capable of carrying WMD.
ZOA also supports President Trump’s stating on Thursday, in response to the question “Mr. President, “Is military action off the table in Iran?”, that “Nothing is off the table.” (“Remarks by President Trump Before Meeting with Harley-Davidson Executives and Union Representatives,” Feb. 2, 2017.) A credible threat of military force is an essential tool for persuading Iran to end its aggressive, dangerous nuclear-weapons-related ballistic missile program and worldwide terrorist activities.
ZOA also supports U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for aptly calling Iran’s test of a medium-range ballistic missile on Sunday (January 29, 2017) a provocative breach that violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231. UNSCR 2331 (which is the resolution that endorsed the Iran deal, a/k/a the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology” until October 2023 (8 years from “Adoption Day,” which was on Oct. 18, 2015).
Iran has been misleadingly claiming that its ballistic missile tests do not violate UNSCR 2331 because its ballistic missiles are not “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” In fact, the ballistic missiles that Iran has been testing do meet the generally accepted definition of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. As missile scientist and International Institute for Strategic Studies fellow Michael Elleman testified before Congress:
“There is no formal definition of what constitutes a “nuclear- capable missile,” although the range-payload threshold established in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) offers a broadly accepted classification measure. The MTCR restricts the transfer of missiles capable of delivering a 500 kg payload to 300 km. Iran’s Shahab, Qiam, Ghadr, Emad, and developmental Sajjil missiles exceed the MTCR performance threshold. Under this definition, Iran possesses more than 300 nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.” (Statement of Mr. Michael Elleman, “Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program,” Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, May 24, 2016.)
Iran’s missile test on Sunday January 29 was the final straw. Iran has expanded its ballistic program, and has been violating UNSCR 2331 ever since the UN Security Council adopted the resolution and the Iran deal was reached. In 2013 and 2014 – each of the two years prior to the JCPOA and UNSCR 2331 – Iran did no ballistic missile tests. By contrast, during the first year after the Iran deal was reached (2015-2016), Iran repeatedly tested ballistic missiles, including:
- On October 10, 2015, Iran test fired a long-range Emad precision-guided ballistic missile, with a range of over 1,000 miles, capable of carrying a 750kg (1,653lb) payload. (See “Iran: New Long-Range Emad Ballistic Missile ‘With High Level Of Precision’ Test Fired,” by Fiona Keating, Int’l Business Times, Oct. 11, 2015.)
- On November 21, 2015, near Chabahar, Iran, Iran test fired a new medium-range Ghadr-110 ballistic missile, with a range of 1200 miles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, similar to the precision guided missile that Iran tested on Oct. 10, 2015. (See “Iran Tests Another Mid-Range Ballistic Missile In Breach Of UN Resolutions,” by Jennifer Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, Dec. 7, 2015.)
These tests in 2015 also violated UNSC Resolution 1929, as well as UNSCR 2331. UNSCR 1929 barred Iran from undertaking “any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology,” was still in effect, and was thus also violated. (UNSCR 1929 terminated when the JCPOA was “implemented” in January 2016.)
- On March 8, 2016, Iran test-fired several small- and medium-range ballistic missiles from silos across the country, including a medium-range Qiam-1 ballistic missile with a range of 460 miles. (See “Iran’s Latest Reported Ballistic Missile Firing Tests Prior US Warnings,” Reuters / The Guardian, Mar. 8, 2016.)
- The next day, March 9, 2016, Iran launched from Iran’s Alborz mountains two Qadr missiles with a range of 1,200 miles, inscribed in Hebrew and Farsi with the words: “Israel must be wiped off the map.” The missiles were capable of reaching Israel and U.S. facilities in the Gulf region. (See “Iran Fires 2 Ballistic Missiles Marked With ‘Israel Must Be Wiped Out’,” AP, Mar. 9, 2016.)
- On May 9, 2016, Iran’s semi-official Tansim news agency announced that two weeks before, Iran launched a ballistic missile with a range of 1,250 miles, accurate to within 8 meters, which means without error. (See “Iran tests missile capable of reaching Israel,” AP / CBS News, May 9, 2016.)
- On July 11-12, 2016, near Saman, Iran, Iran test launched a version of the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and beyond, and Israel within easy reach. (See “Iran Conducts 4th Missile Test Since Signing Nuke Deal,” by Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, July 15, 2016.)
ZOA strongly appreciates the Trump administration taking action to counteract Iran’s continuing egregious and dangerous violations.