“Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.” Those were the words reportedly scrawled on two ballistic missiles launched by Iran last week in tests Tehran confirmed were designed to “confront the Zionist regime.”
Add this latest public threat against Israel to a growing list of hostile acts by Iran in recent months, including the successful firing of new ballistic missiles in October 2015, an act many argued employed technology banned by the United Nations Security Council; the launch in late December 2015 of rockets near American warships; and the seizure in January by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of two U.S. Navy vessels and 10 crew members, after the boats accidentally entered Iranian waters.
One week later, the Iranian nuclear deal went into effect, and now, less than two months after the deal’s implementation, more aggression.
In the days since the most recent launch, some world leaders have floated the possibility of new, or renewed, sanctions against Iran. U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called for sanctions, joining a significant number of American politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has said thus far only that it is investigating the incident, while the French government offered that sanctions could be implemented “if necessary.”
For its part, the Canadian government, which reduced sanctions against Iran in February, has not said much of anything.
Strictly speaking, last week’s launch did not breach the nuclear deal signed last year, but that should hardly matter. If anything, this latest round of bellicosity from Tehran should prove the fundamental problems with that deal. And besides, if Iran has breached a UN resolution, then it should be called out and punished, regardless of whether doing so might endanger a nuclear deal some world leaders are clearly counting on being a major part of their political legacies.
And yet, days after the launch, there has been no concrete action, leading to the questions: how far will Iran go before the world, Canada included, responds meaningfully? And can Israel wait that long?