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By: Saagar Entegi
Iran mobilized a large swath of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Saturday in response to President Donald Trump’s treasury sanctions for conducting illegal ballistic missile tests.
Iranian military spokesmen indicated the IRGC would test 3 missiles as part of the exercise, “to showcase the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the sanctions.” Whether these missiles include ballistic missiles banned from testing by a United Nations resolution is unclear.
Trump’s sanctions target 25 individuals and institutions within the IRGC connected to the ballistic missile program, and follow a week of escalating rhetoric between the two countries. Iran similarly responded to the sanctions saying it “will take action against a number of American individuals and companies that have played a role in generating and supporting extremist terrorist groups.”
Trump issued a cryptic missive to Iran on Twitter before the sanctions were imposed saying:
Trump and his team have repeatedly blamed the Obama administration for encouraging Iran’s behavior, by signing the 2015 nuclear deal. “The Trump Administration will no longer tolerate Iran’s provocations that threaten our interests,” adding “the days of turning a blind eye to Iran’s hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over,” said National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in a statement Friday.
A top adviser to Iranian Ayatollah Khamenei responded to the declaration saying, “This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran … the American government will understand that threatening Iran is useless,” reports the Associated Press. “Iran does not need permission from any country to defend itself.”