HUMM.... I have to wonder is this Trump really understanding the issue, or Trump-the-bully exercising his muscle?
SUMMARY: New U.S. sanctions were applied to people and companies tied to Iran's ballistic missile program. The National Security Adviser released a statement saying that the international community has been "too tolerant of Iran's bad behavior" and that the administration wouldn't tolerate "provocations." Hari Sreenivasan talks to Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour): As we reported earlier, the Trump administration applied new sanctions today to more than a dozen people and companies tied to Iran's ballistic missile program.
Hari Sreenivasan has more.
HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour): The White House says the sanctions are not related to the nuclear deal, and structured in a way that maintains the U.S.' commitments to that agreement.
At the same time, the national security adviser, Michael Flynn, also released a statement today, saying — quote — “The international community has been too tolerant of Iran's bad behavior. The ritual of convening a United Nations Security Council in an emergency meeting and issuing a strong statement is not enough. The Trump administration will no longer tolerate Iran's provocations that threaten our interests.”
Joining me now for what the new sanctions and statements mean going forward is Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Karim, let's start by putting this in context.
Who do these sanctions affect and what are they going to be prohibited from doing?
KARIM SADJADPOUR, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace: Hari, these sanctions are very targeted against individuals and entities that are affiliated or part of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who are involved in Iran's missile program and Iran's support for regional militias.
And they're very targeted. They're not broad sanctions which are intended to really change Iranian behavior. But I do think they're intended to do what General Flynn, the national security adviser, said, which is to put Iran “on notice” — quote, unquote.
HARI SREENIVASAN: How different are they from steps that perhaps the Obama administration would have taken had they seen this ballistic missile test happen on their watch?
KARIM SADJADPOUR: You know, the Obama administration was reluctant to sanction Iran and counter its regional behavior because they were very worried that would provoke an escalation which would jeopardize the nuclear deal, which was the Obama administration's main foreign policy legacy.
And the Trump administration doesn't have those concerns. President Trump has routinely denounced the Iran nuclear deal as a disaster. And I think, in contrast to the Obama administration, the Trump administration's national security brain trust, men like General Flynn, General Mattis at the Pentagon, these were men who served in Iraq, and they hold Iran responsible for the death of hundreds of U.S. soldiers.
And so they felt, during the Obama years, that they were restrained from being able to retaliate against Iran. And now they feel unrestrained and they're confronting Iran in the region.