Michael Flynn, White House national security adviser. Photo: Reuters
President Donald Trump's national security adviser has said the administration is putting Iran "on notice" after it tested a ballistic missile, allegedly in violation of a UN resolution.
"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," Michael Flynn said, signalling a tougher stance against the Islamic country than the previous Obama dispensation.
In a statement that can have far-reaching implications in the Middle East, Flynn said recent Iranian actions, including the "provocative" ballistic missile launch on Sunday and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran- supported Houthi militants, "underscore what should have been clear to the international
community all along about Iran's destabilising behaviour" across the region.
Flynn said 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 US and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea.
The adviser said that the ballistic missile launch, the first by Iran since Trump become president, is in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
The resolution 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.
According to reports, Iran's missile test occurred at a well-known site outside Semnan, about 225 km east of Tehran. The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle.
In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten US friends and allies in the region, Flynn said.
"The Obama administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran's malign actions-including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international
norms. 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," he said.
In the past, Donald Trump has severely criticised various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama administration, as well as the United Nations - terming them "weak and ineffective".
"Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened," Flynn said.
Later senior administration officials said the Trump administration has all its options open. Describing the recent Iranian actions as destabilising, the official said the United States will respond to it appropriately.
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