By INU Staff
INU - As US President Trump made his recent 12-day, five-nation tour of Asia, North Korea dominated conversation, after last month’s launch of a probable intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15, by Kim Jong Un.
As the ICBM may be capable of reaching Washington, D.C., or possibly any location, leaving no country is safe, it was understandable that the world focused on that rogue state. However, according to Mark S. Kirk, former U.S. senator from Illinois and senior adviser at United Against Nuclear Iran, in his article for the Chicago Tribune,“…Iran has been thoroughly underreported. Two years ago, as part of the ill-fated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the U.S. sent billions of dollars to Iran, despite Iran’s clear and present nuclear ambition and close cooperation with the North Korean military.”
The 60-day window for Congress to decide whether or not to impose sanctions, that was opened when President Trump decertified the Iran deal, closes on December 12th.
Kirk writes, “Two principles must be kept in the forefront. Because of their close ties, if North Korea can launch ICBMs, then surely so can Iran. And, if one is allowed to act with impunity, then the other will follow suit.” He adds, “When President Trump decided not to recertify the Iran deal, he made specific mention of the reported relationship between the two rogue nation-states. He instructed ‘our intelligence agencies to do a thorough analysis and report back their findings beyond what they have already reviewed.’ However, ample evidence already exists of the Iran alliance with North Korea.”
In fact, last August, Kim reiterated his support for Iran, stating, “Iran and North Korea share a mutual enemy. We firmly support Iran on its stance that missile development does not need to be authorized by any nation.”
Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, told Congress in May, “North Korea’s export of ballistic missiles and associated materials to several countries, including Iran and Syria, and its assistance to Syria’s construction of a nuclear reactor, destroyed in 2007, illustrate its willingness to proliferate dangerous technologies.”
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps recently threatened European countries, saying, “So far, we have felt that Europe is not a threat, so we did not increase the range of our missiles. But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles.”
Just months before, in defiance of the Iran deal, the regime began test-launching BM-25 ballistic missiles, capable of reaching just under 2,500 miles. Kirk writes that weapons experts believe the technology was acquired from North Korea.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened that Tehran could restart its nuclear program within a matter of “hours.” As well, the IRGC stated defiantly that it would “expand” and “continue with more speed” its ballistic missile program, in response to the announcement of a tougher U.S. policy toward Iran.