William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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ANOTHER REMINDER OF THE REAL WORLD:  Oh yes, our election campaign is important, and will grow more so.  But one major purpose of Urgent Agenda is to remind readers of critical, even potentially catastrophic events that change our world while we're looking away.  Consider developments in Iran, from Reuters:

DUBAI, May 25 (Reuters) - Iran successfully test-launched a ballistic missile with a potential 2,000-km range on Thursday, state media said, two days after the chief of Israel's armed forces raised the prospect of "action" against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, says its weapons are capable of reaching the bases of arch-foes Israel and the United States in the region.

Despite U.S. and European opposition, the Islamic Republic has said it will further develop its "defensive" missile programme.

"Our message to Iran's enemies is that we will defend the country and its achievements. Our message to our friends is that we want to help regional stability," Iranian Defence Minister Mohammadreza Ashtiani said.

State TV broadcast a few seconds of footage of what it said was the launch of an upgraded version of Iran's Khoramshahr 4 ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,243 miles) and able to carry a 1,500-kg (3,300-pound) warhead.

"The domestically built Kheibar missile's outstanding features include quick preparation and launch time, which makes it a tactical weapon in addition to a strategic one," it said.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, "Iran's development and proliferation of ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security and remains a significant non-proliferation challenge."

Iran was continuing to seek missile technology from foreign suppliers and conducting tests in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution, Miller told reporters at a regular press briefing, adding that Washington would continue to use tools including sanctions to counter those efforts.

COMMENT:  Yes, we've sure been effective countering Iran's nuclear efforts.  Virtually every credible story out there tells us that Tehran is literally within weeks of producing a live nuclear device.  But who cares?  The really important thing is making sure all our college students use the right pronouns.

May 26, 2023