Fox News reports that Iran has tested a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile in defiance of a United Nations resolution to not do so. The rocket flew 600 miles before exploding when the reentry vehicle failed. Nevertheless Iran has previously announced that it intends to start production of the missile.

The missile test not only violated the UN resolution but also the spirit if not the letter of the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Israel has, predictably, called for the nuclear deal to be scrapped and economic sanctions reimposed on the Islamic Republic.

The missile is capable of hitting targets with a remarkable precision. Iran has tested a variety of missiles, some of which with the range to strike at targets in Israel, a country that the government of Iran has vowed to destroy. The Islamic Republic is thought to be conducting its nuclear weapons program ins secret despite the fact that the deal struck with President Obama is supposed to have stopped that undertaking.

The missile test represents the first major national security test for the Trump administration.

President Obama had dealt with previous missile tests by ignoring them. Donald Trump, however, promised a harder line against Iranian aggression, even going so far as stating that he would scrap the nuclear weapons deal. Secretary of Defense Mattis has also expressed a willingness to take a more proactive stance against the Islamic Republic.

The stakes for Middle East peace cannot be overstated. Iran’s missile and nuclear programs not only threaten Israel but Sunni Muslim states in the Persian Gulf.

The threat has actually driven Israel and many of its former Arab enemies together in a tacit alliance. Countries in the region were terrified by Obama’s single-minded pursuit of a rapprochement with Iran, even though it is ruled by a theocratic government that not only savagely violates the human rights of its own citizens but is the world’s most generous supporters of terrorism.

What Trump and Mattis does will help to define policy toward Iran in the future.

Look for economic sanctions to be imposed on the Islamic Republic to some extent as well as stepped up military aid to Israel and the Arab Gulf states. In secret, the United States military will dust off plans to strike at Iran’s nuclear and missile strikes in the event such an attack becomes necessary.

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