USS Cole on Patrol in Water Near Yemen
DEVELOPING: The Trump Administration through the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 companies after the Islamic Republican of Iran conducted a ballistic missile launch last Sunday. Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who serves as President Donald J. Trump’s national security adviser, said this week that the administration was putting Iran “on notice” for its missile test and for supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen.
President Trump tweeted Friday that “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how `kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”
The launch, which occurred at a well-known test site outside Semnan, located roughly 140 miles east of Tehran, is clearly a violation of a U.N. resolution barring them from doing so. U.N. resolution 2231–adopted just one day after the Iran nuclear deal was signed–states Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
However, this is not the first time Iran has conducted such a test in violation of the resolution, which prohibits them from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years. It went into effect July 20, 2015. In fact, it’s the second since July, the first being conducted under the Obama Administration with no U.S. response.
But the new administration is responding. The countries impacted by the new sanctions stretch from the United Arab Emirates to Libya to China, and are well within the authority of the Iran nuclear deal.
New developments also indicate the new sanctions are part of a larger response by the Trump Administration.
The Pentagon confirmed the USS Cole will also be patrolling the waters near Yemen. The move comes after the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels launched a suicide attack officials believe was meant for a U.S. warship but instead hit a Saudi frigate off Yemen.
The attack, which occurred near the Bab al Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, killed two Saudi sailors and wounded three others. It is the same area where U.S. Navy warships came under missile attack in October, again with little response from the previous administration. The USS Cole maybe somewhat of a symbolic statement by the administration.
U.S. defense analysts believe the rebels either thought the bomber was striking an American warship or that the attack was a “dress rehearsal” similar to the attack on the USS Cole. The ship was the target of a terrorist attack against the United States Navy on October 12, 2000.
It was hit as it was being refueled in Yemen’s Aden harbor, killing 17 American sailors and wounding 39 others. It was the deadliest attack against a U.S. naval vessel since 1987.