National Security Adviser Michael Flynn delivers a daily briefing at the White House, Feb. 1, 2017.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn delivers a daily briefing at the White House, Feb. 1, 2017.

Credit:

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Mr. President, what do you mean when you say Iran is "on notice"?

Iran, you've been warned. That's pretty much all we can say at this point.

The White House did not take kindly this week to reports that Iran tested a ballistic missile over the weekend. Iran says the test didn't violate the terms of its nuclear accord with the US and other world powers. President Donald Trump's administration wasn't ready to explicitly accuse Tehran of breaching the deal, but the president did fire a warning shot.

A very vague warning shot.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, speaking at the daily White House press briefing, called the missile test a "provocation." He also criticized Iran over an attack that Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen launched on a Saudi warship.

"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," Flynn announced. 

He did not clarify what that meant. Neither did White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

And neither did the president, who doubled-down on the threat Thursday morning on Twitter. 

Tehran, for the record, blew off Trump's threats.

"This is not the first time that an inexperienced person has threatened Iran," said Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "Iran is the strongest power in the region and has a lot of political, economic and military power. ... America should be careful about making empty threats to Iran." 

"Iran will continue to test its capabilities in ballistic missiles and Iran will not ask any country for permission in defending itself," he added.

One thing is for sure. After some warming of US-Iran relations under President Barack Obama, things are getting tense again between Washington and Tehran. 

So here's the question, Mr. President. What exactly do you mean when you say Iran is "on notice"? Click here to tweet the question.

Over President Donald Trump's roughly first 100 days, we'll be asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs. See more of our questions at pri.org/100questions.

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