In a vast departure from the Obama White House, the Trump administration went on record Wednesday to accuse Iran of being in violation of the landmark nuclear agreement as a result of its recent test of ballistic missile technology, according to a senior White House official, who said that Iran has officially been put "on notice."
Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, accused Iran of breaching international accords governing the nuclear agreement. He lashed out at the Islamic Republic for threatening American military assets in the Persian Gulf region.
Flynn's remarks represent a break with the previous administration, which worked to hide Iranian transgressions and declined to publicly state that Iran's behavior violated the nuclear deal.
One senior White House official disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that "the restraint of recent years" when it comes to Iran "will end."
Iran's ballistic missile test this week—the latest in a series of about 12 tests since the nuclear deal was announced—is "in defiance of [United Nations] Security Council Resolution 2231, which 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,'" Flynn said.
He also chastised Iran for attacking U.S. allies in the region and training terrorist forces.
"These are just the latest of a series of incidents in the past six months in which Houthi forces that Iran has trained and armed have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels, and threatened U.S. and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea," Flynn said. "In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region."
A senior White House official told the Free Beacon that the Trump administration is reviewing a "range of options" to respond and that the "restraint of recent years will end."
The missile test and provocative actions against the US army not directly related to the nuclear deal, but show Iran "continues to defy international norms," the official said.
The White House is no longer willing to "tolerate continued Iranian provocation," according to the official, who explained that a range of responses are currently under consideration.
Flynn went on to criticize the Obama administration for failing to take appropriate action when faced with Iranian aggression.
"The Obama administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran's malign actions—including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms," Flynn said. "The Trump administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place American lives at risk."
"Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened," he added. "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice."
Iran remained defiant in light of the Trump administration's criticism, maintaining that its ballistic missile tests do not violate international agreements.
Iranian officials shrugged off concerns about possible repercussions under the Trump administration.
"We don't have any concerns in Iran about Donald Trump's decision (about the nuclear deal)," Seyed Abbas Araqchi, an Iranian deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying on Iran's state-controlled radio on Wednesday. "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready for all conditions and has planned for all scenarios."
Iranian officials disclosed this week that the country has begun to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, using highly advanced centrifuges. The next-generation centrifuge models spin uranium much faster than previous generations, enabling Iran to more quickly enrich uranium to the level needed for nuclear power.
One foreign policy insider close to the Trump national security team told the Free Beacon that Iran is in for a wake-up call.
"The Trump national security team is filled with very talented, very forceful figures, many of them from the military, and there are already signs they don't agree on everything," said the source, who is not authorized to speak on the record. "But one thing everyone in Trump world appreciates, whether they're in the government or working from the outside, is that Iran poses an overwhelming threat to U.S. interests. Some have suggested that the administration may bow to international pressure, originally mobilized by the Obama administration to boost the Iran deal, and ignore Iranian violations. That looks like a terrible bet."