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Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters responded Wednesday to the Iranian launch of a ballistic missile that had ‘Israel must be wiped out’ written on it, saying that the Obama administration has positioned America as the perpetual loser in U.S.-Iran relations.
“Our president and the secretary of state have painted themselves into a very dangerous corner in which whatever we do or fail to do, we're the losers,” Peters said.
Iranian hardliners who launched the missile are out to prove that they hold power both inside Iran post-parliamentary elections and on the global stage post-nuclear agreement, he said.
“This is the Revolutionary Guards and hardliners showing everybody who is still in charge, because, elections not withstanding, the people who hold the guns hold the power,” Peters said.
He said that the launch violates a U.N. Security Council resolution and shows that Iran is “rubbing it in” America’s face that they can “do whatever they want” after the nuclear deal because of the Obama administration’s weakness. As an example, Peters referenced the detention and “torment” of 10 U.S. sailors by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, after which Secretary of State John Kerry thanked the Iranians for their cooperation.
“They can do whatever they want now because this terribly flawed nuclear deal was front-loaded with benefits for Iran, and the benefits we get, if we get them, are spread out over the long-term,” Peters said.
He said that the economic ties Iran is now forging are difficult to sanction even if Obama wanted to punish Iran for the missile launch.
“Even if President Obama decided to abrogate that bad nuclear deal and resurrect sanctions against Iran, it wouldn't work because Iran has been flooded with European and global corporations signing contracts right and left,” Peters said.
In all, he said, the outlook for a strong U.S. role in relations with Iran is dim.
“I hate to say this about my country, but we’ve lost this one,” Peters said.
Peters is known for his blunt assessments of the Obama administration's foreign policy. In the past, he has called Obama a “total pussy” on live television.