White House Draws Red Line on Iranian Ballistic Missile ProgramWhite House Draws Red Line on Iranian Ballistic Missile Program, Washington Free Beacon, February 10, 2014(The Obama Administration is pretty good at drawing red lines. Doing something when they are crossed is different.
— DM)Obama Iran AnalysisIranian army members prepare missiles to be launched / APThe White House on Monday pushed back against Iran’s efforts to set a “red line” preventing negotiations over its contested ballistic missile program, which has been permitted to continue undeterred under the recently signed interim nuclear accord.One of Iran’s top nuclear negotiators stated early Monday that Iran would under no circumstances negotiate with the West on its ballistic missile program. These remarks were accompanied by the announcement that Tehran had successfully test fired two ballistic missiles, which are the preferred delivery system for nuclear arms.“The defense-related issues are a red line for Iran,” Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s senior negotiator and its deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying on Monday, just a week before talks are set to resume. “We will not allow such issues to be discussed in future talks.”However, the White House quickly pushed back against the comments, vowing to force the issue during upcoming negotiations and demand that it be resolved under a final deal.“Per the Joint Plan of Action, Iran must address the [United Nations] Security Council resolutions related to its nuclear program before a comprehensive resolution can be reached,” Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokesperson, told theWashington Free Beacon.“Among other things, UN Security Council Resolution 1929 prohibits all activities involving ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches,” Meehan said. “So this issue will need to be addressed during the comprehensive discussions.”This is one of the first instances of the White House publicly pushing back against Iran’s demands, which have grown increasingly bellicose as the talks proceed.Iran is on course to develop more advanced ballistic missiles, the country’s defense minister was quoted as saying following Monday’s test.