Middle East Media Research Institute REPORT: As part of the P5+1 nuclear deal in 2015, Obama’s administration gave Iran its unwritten consent to develop tactical ballistic missiles with the only restriction, that their missiles would not reach Europe.
By Erez Linn, Israel Hayom Staff & News Agencies
Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration had given Iran its tacit consent for the development of ballistic missiles capable of striking Israel but not Europe, a new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute alleged Thursday.
U.N. Resolution 2231, passed shortly after the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal was signed, calls on 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” for eight years following the nuclear deal. Resolution 2231 went into effect on July 20, 2015.
Iran conducted a ballistic missile test on Jan. 30. The test has been denounced as a violation of Resolution 2231, but White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the missile test did not violate the nuclear agreement.
“It’s not a direct violation. … I think there is no question that it violates the spirit” of the agreement, he said.
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan stressed that Iran “asks permission from no one in the matter of its defense program.”
The MEMRI report claimed that “immediately after the interim agreement was reached in Geneva, on Dec. 10, 2013, and in reference to it, IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran is capable of producing missiles with a range of over 2,000 kilometers” (1,200 miles) but that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had restricted the IRGC to a 2,000-kilometer range.
“We have the capability to increase the range of our missiles, and our missiles should obviously reach Israel. … The regime’s red lines were not crossed during the nuclear talks with the P5+1 [group] and in the Geneva Agreement,” Jafari said.
IRGC officials, MEMRI claimed, hinted that the restrictions placed on Iran’s missile developments as part of the nuclear deal, stipulated only that they could not reach Europe.
The report further quoted Jafari as saying that one of the points of Resolution 2231 “was the matter of restrictions, which some military elements feared. … The [Iranian] negotiating team told the Westerners that we do not agree to these restrictions. They [the Westerners] said that these issues must be included in the resolution. Even when I met with the leader [Khamenei], he said that there were no restrictions on developing defensive capabilities. The only restriction relates to nuclear missiles, which, obviously, we never wanted.”
MEMRI argued that “although the permission given to Iran to develop missiles capable of striking Israel is likely not a secret annex of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], it still constitutes unwritten consent that is an integral part of the nuclear deal.
It is convenient for both sides not to publish this understanding in written form — for Iran because it rejects any public reference to its missile program, which it defines as defensive but is in fact offensive; and for the Obama administration, because there would be repercussions if it were to be revealed that it had given Iran permission to develop missiles capable of striking Israel.
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