Trump’s Missile Defense Plan Raises Questions in Iran

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Jan 25, 2017
Trump’s Missile Defense Plan Raises Questions in Iran

The Trump administration’s plan to develop a missile defense system (MDS) to counter potential intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats has raised many questions in Iran.

Shortly after Donald Trump took the oath of office, the White House website released a policy statement – titled “Making Our Military Strong Again” – which stated that the administration will “develop a state-of-the-art missile defense system to protect against missile-based attacks from states like Iran and North Korea.”

Reacting to the White House’s announcement, Mansour Haghighatpour, a high-ranking member of parliament and former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, called Washington’s MDS plan “delusional,” adding that Iran did not pose any ICBM threat to the United States.

Tabnak News Agency, an outlet run by former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei, also analyzed the new US administration’s MDS plan in details. In an article titled “What’s Trump’s intention of building a missile defense system against Iran?” Tabnak reasoned the Trump team mentioned Iran to garner public support for its defense agenda, and that it did not necessarily mean Washington planned to pursue a more aggressive policy vis-à-vis Iran.

The article also argued that the Trump’s MDS plan was unlikely to be the same as the one the Bush administration intended to build in Eastern Europe. The new government in Washington wants to reduce not escalate tension with Moscow, it explained. The article, however, cautioned that the Trump administration may still devise and implement an anti-Iran strategy.