While the Trump administration is wrestling with the prospect of a Second Korean War, Iran continues to demonstrate its hostility to the United States. The Iranian parliament recently voted to increase the Islamic Republic’s war spending by over $500 million, with half going to missile development that is prohibited by United Nations resolutions, according to the Washington Free Beacon. At the same time, Iran announced the intention to send a flotilla of warships out into the Atlantic as a direct challenge to western navies.

Iran’s military buildup

Iranian lawmakers made no secret as to why they were voting for increases in that country’s war machine. They shouted, “Death to America!” as the vote was cast. The spending boost, ironically, was made possible by the infusion of hundreds of billions in cash from Iran’s frozen accounts provided by the Obama administration in exchange for American hostages. The Obama White House claimed at the time that Iran would spend the money on infrastructure development. Instead, the Iranians are using it to develop more missiles and other war material.

Iran to send its fleet into the Atlantic

Almost as ominous, Iran has announced the dispatch of a flotilla of ships into the Atlantic.

Iranian speed boats and drones have been challenging American war ships and planes on the Persian Gulf for several years. On at least one occasion, an American Navy ship was forced to fire warning shots to persuade an Iranian speed boat to veer off as it was closing in. The kind of mischief that a group of Iranian war ships could commit in the Atlantic against shipping is anyone's guess.

In retaliation for sanctions

Iran is claiming that it is undertaking these measures in retaliation for economic sanctions being imposed by the United States in response to its missile development program. The United States Government also strongly suspects that Iran is in breach of the nuclear weapons agreement signed by President Obama with the goal of halting that country’s nuclear program.

The next time the agreement is up for review, the betting is that the United States government will declare Iran in violation of it. Such a move will likely escalate tensions between the two countries.

What happens next?

The United States faces not just one missile crisis in Korea, but a second one in Iran. Just as America may have to go to war to neutralize the North Korean threat, it may have to do the same, with the likely help of Israel, to perform the same service in Iran. Both problems were allowed to fester for years but unfortunately, the day of reckoning has arrived.

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