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February 1, 2017 9:45 pm

Prominent US Jewish Groups Sound the Alarm Over Iran’s Latest Ballistic Missile Test

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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The launch of an Iranian Emad intermediate-range ballistic missile. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The launch of an Iranian intermediate-range ballistic missile. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Prominent US Jewish groups are sounding the alarm over last weekend’s ballistic missile test conducted by Iran.

Speaking with The Algemeiner on Wednesday hours before National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announced that the US was “officially putting Iran on notice,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — said that Iran’s act was a “bald-faced test of the new Trump administration.”

“President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry caved to this regime and deceived themselves and the American people that the nuclear agreement would reign in the regime’s behavior,” Cooper said. “Well I guess Tehran wanted President Trump to know it hasn’t — and ‘what are you going to do about it’?”

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Daniel S. Mariaschin — executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International — told The Algemeiner that the latest missile test was “absolutely concerning.”

“No one should have been surprised by this,” Mariaschin said. “Not only have there been previous tests, but there’s been the Iranian search for dual-use technology, and not to mention the hounding of our naval vessels. I think we have to make it very clear that this is unacceptable behavior.”

“Yes, we need to respond and we shouldn’t be arguing about whether this kind of ballistic missile test is allowed or not,” he continued. “Clearly, they [the Iranians] are defying both the letter and the spirit of the [nuclear] agreement.”

The US, Mariaschin stated, should first seek to enlist its allies to respond to Iran’s hostile moves and violations of the July 2015 nuclear deal — which was agreed to by the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 world powers. But if that effort fails, unilateral action would be required, he said.

“We need to look at the complete picture of what the Iranians are doing to destabilize the region and beyond,” Mariaschin said, noting Iran’s support for the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist groups, as well as its backing of the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In a statement published on Tuesday, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said, “Iran’s continued willful refusal to cease testing ballistic missiles poses a direct threat to the security of the US, to our closest ally in the region Israel, and to other friends of the US in the region.”

“The latest missile test firing by Iran underscores the need for the bipartisan majority Congress and the Trump administration to quickly work together to craft, adopt and implement an appropriate and effective legislative response to Iran’s repeated provocations and belligerence,” they continued.

Furthermore, Greenberg and Hoenlein called on the UN Security Council to “join in the efforts to stop Iran’s dangerously aggressive pursuit of ballistic missile capabilities and to curtail its deadly support for terrorism and direct involvement in hostilities in the Middle East and elsewhere which result in unimaginable human suffering and the daily loss of innocent lives.”

Cooper said that Iran’s threats to Israel and Saudi Arabia and its support for global terrorism are “sure to be topic #1” at Trump’s White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two weeks.

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