In July, President Obama signed a nuclear agreement with Iran, despite strong, bipartisan opposition in Congress.
So how’s the agreement holding up on Iran’s side? Well, about like you would expect. Which is to say, not very well at all.
Earlier this week, we discovered that Iran recently tested a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of not one, but two United Nations Security Council Resolutions. In the agreement they signed, Iran “agreed” to halt its ballistic missile program for the next eight years.
Not six months later, here we are.
This is not even the first time Iran has illegally tested a ballistic missile since the agreement was signed. It stands to reason that the Iranians are betting that the President and the UN will do nothing to actually enforce the agreement he spent years seeking.
If the Obama administration’s response has been any indication, the Iranians’ theory seems spot on. Take for example, this week’s exchange between Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN. Senator Gardner asked Ambassador Power what the administration had done since the first illegal Iranian missile test had been reported to the sanctions committee seven weeks prior.
Power’s reply: “Beyond having Security Council discussions on the matter there’s been no follow-on action.” While a troubling revelation, she continued: “Discussions are a form of UN action. (emphasis added) It’s a little bit like a hearing is a form of Congressional action.”
This situation couldn’t remind us more of one of our all-time favorite foreign policy-related movie scenes. It doesn’t come from a serious film, but from 2004’s rip-roaringly funny (but largely unsafe for work) Team America: World Police. In the relevant scene, former North Korean despot Kim Jong-Il is “confronted” by Hans Blix, then-Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. Their discussion goes as follows:
Soldier: Hoi te? Han ching! Pae ja, Hans Blix bo tae so tae ka.