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The Nuclear Iran Deal gave a green light to Iran's missile launches.

So “shall not” has been emasculated to “pretty please I prefer you wouldn’t.”

Ask any lawyer whose side they would prefer to argue in court:  a party who wants to do something that the law says he “shall not” do, or a party who wants to do something that an authority “calls upon you not to do.”


Or ask any parents whether they would tell their children “you shall not” run into traffic if the ball with which you are playing ends up in the middle of the highway, or would they tell the child “I call upon you not to” run into the middle of traffic to retrieve the errant ball.

The U.S. is now forced to argue from that weaker position, and it’s a situation of its own making.

But you would never know that based on the forceful-sounding statement made by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power.

On Friday, March 11, Power issued a statement about Iran’s missile launches. She called them “provocative and destabilizing.” Ya think?

Power also condemned the claims of Iranian leaders who said the missiles were “designed to be a direct threat to Israel. We condemn such threats against another UN Member State and one of our closest allies.”

Glad to hear it. But when Power moves into her explanation of what was authorized in UNSCR 2231, she fudged it, making it seem that the Resolution actually has the strength to bar what Iran did, or that what Iran did came under the category of what was banned. Neither appears to be true. What Power never says, because she cannot, is that the launch by Iran of the missiles was a violation of the Resolution which codified the Nuclear Iran Deal or any other binding legal obligation.

The U.S. called on the Security Council to hold consultations over the missile launches, and that meeting took place on Monday, Mar. 14. Results of that discussion will be posted when information becomes available.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:
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