Trump: Nothing 'Off the Table' in Responding to Iran's Missile Launch
U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday Iran has been "formally put on notice" for its ballistic missile launch, and he warned that "nothing is off the table" in dealing with Tehran.
In a series of tweets, Trump also continued his condemnation of the agreement that the U.S. and five other world powers reached to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
He said Iran should be "thankful" for the agreement, and that the country was "ready to collapse" before the billions of dollars were unfrozen.
Later, at a White house meeting with Harley-Davidson executives and union members, Trump said "nothing is off the table," in response to a reporter who asked if military action against Iran was an option.
The nuclear deal required Iran to limit its enrichment of uranium and convert several of its nuclear facilities to other uses.
On Wednesday, it was Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who condemned Iran's recent missile launch, declaring it "just the latest in a series of incidents" in which Iran has threatened the U.S. and its regional allies over the past six months. He said leaders in Tehran were emboldened to take such action now because the nuclear agreement is "weak and ineffective," and because the other nations involved in the agreement failed to take action to rein in Iran's military ambitions.
During a briefing at the White House, Flynn accused former President Barack Obama and other members of his administration of not being tough enough on Tehran.
US Condemns Russia’s ‘Aggressive Actions’ in E. Ukraine
The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations took a firm stance against Russian military action in eastern Ukraine Thursday, condemning Moscow’s “aggressive actions” and saying U.S. Crimea related sanctions will remain in place.
“I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia,” Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council at her first public meeting since being confirmed last week as President Donald Trump’s U.N. envoy. “We do want better relations with Russia,” Haley said. “However, the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”
Haley said U.S.-imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula also will remain in place until control of that territory is returned to Kyiv.
During the months long presidential campaign, Donald Trump expressed admiration for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and there are questions about whether Russia interfered in the U.S. election in order to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. These left many foreign policy observers wondering whether the Trump administration would take a hard line on Moscow. Haley’s comments appeared to indicate the administration is not prepared to pursue improved relations with Moscow at any price.
Earlier Thursday, The U.S. Treasury Department announced it is easing some restrictions on business transactions with Russia's Security Service (FSB), despite cyber- sanctions put in place by former President Barack Obama.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the move does not mean the United States is easing sanctions on Russia.