Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 04 February 2017, 20:55 hrs, UTC, Post #103.
Accessed on 04 February 2017, 20:55 hrs, UTC.
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During a trip to Japan, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis called Iran “the world’s biggest state sponsor of terror.” His remarks came after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards defied recent U.S sanctions and conducted ballistic missile firings and other military exercises on Saturday and Sunday, 28-29 January 2017. The United States imposed more sanctions on Iran following the missile firings.
Revolutionary Guard officials told the BBC that the exercise “would show the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the sanctions.”
According to the BBC, Defense Secretary Mattis had more “strong words” about Iran during his Japan visit:
“As far as Iran goes, this is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” he told reporters.
“We have seen their [Iran’s] misconduct, their misbehaviour, from Lebanon and Syria to Bahrain and to Yemen and it’s got to be addressed at some point,” he added.
But he went on to say that despite the recent tensions he saw no need to boost troop numbers in the Middle East.
“We always have the capability to do so, but at this time I don’t think it’s necessary,” he said.
The Iranian ballistic missile tests present yet another diplomatic challenge to the Trump administration. Last week, Mr. Trump’s new immigration and refugee policy drew heavy criticism from the European Union Summit meeting in Malta, and, now, our relationship with Iran, which has promised to “rain down destruction” on its enemies, has taken another turn for the worse. About all the U.S. can do now, short of actually attacking Iran directly, is to tighten the economic sanctions against Iran and to continue hitting its terrorist agents in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Eventually, Mr. Trump may have to “work a deal” with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin to end the Syrian Civil War and defuse the rhetoric of Iran. That will be a tall order, even in the best of times. If such an agreement is reached, Mr. Putin will want some payback, namely an end to U.S. sanctions against Russia and more Russian participation in European affairs. The European Union will not like that news at all.
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Hawaii Intelligence Digest