U.S. President Barack Obama talked tough toward Iran during a gathering of international leaders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week, but it was the militant Muslim nation that carried the big stick over the weekend.
Iran’s “Revolutionary Guard Corps” fired multiple, advanced medium-range missiles during a military exercise on Sunday, successfully demonstrating a first-strike capability that puts Israel and Southeastern Europe at risk. The missile tests come just days after the world learned of a new Iranian underground uranium enrichment facility. Iranian leaders say the facility is for the production of electricity, U.S officials say it is for producing warheads.
According to one of Iran’s top military commanders, the tests send “a message for certain greedy nations that seek to create fear, to show that we are able to give a swift and suitable answer to our enemies.”
The American response to Iran’s war games?
For that we must turn to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates – who you’ll recall had a ho-hum response earlier this year when North Korea detonated an atomic bomb and test-fired its own missiles.
What sayeth Gates about the latest Iranian aggression?
“There is obviously the opportunity for severe additional sanctions,” Gates said.
Great, additional sanctions.
Obama, you’ll recall, made fawning overtures to Iran early in his presidency, sending the nation a “Happy Norwuz” video on the occasion of the Iranian New Year.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, immediately rebuffed Obama‘s overtures, saying “they chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change.”
He’s not the only one.