Iran has test-fired a new air-to-surface missile, Iranian media reported Sunday, in the Islamic Republic’s latest display of its military capability.
The missile test was carried out despite the offer by the administration of new U.S. President Barack Obama to engage Iran in direct talks if it “unclenches its fist.”
Iran’s Fars News Agency said the domestically produced missile had a range of 110 km (70 miles) and was designed for use by military aircraft against naval targets.
Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway between the Gulf and the Sea of Oman through which about 40 percent of the world’s traded oil is shipped.
One Western defense analyst said he believed the missile test was a signal by Iran that “we can severely disrupt traffic” in the Gulf if attacked.
“That’s what would be the frightening thing for the West and the Middle East,” Andrew Brookes of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank in London said by phone.
Israel is seriously considering taking unilateral military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, according to a report by top US political figures and experts released Wednesday.
“It’s quite serious in acting on its own about a nuclear-armed Iran,” former US ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg, one of the task force members who traveled to the region to research the report, said at a WINEP event held Wednesday on the report’s release.
She noted that the timetable for an Israeli attack might be “significantly” moved up if Jerusalem believed Russia was going to make good on its pledge to supply Iran with the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which would greatly complicate any Israeli attack.
Iran had “crossed the technological threshold” and its attainment of nuclear military capability is now a matter of “incorporating the goal of producing an atomic bomb into its strategy,” OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet on Sunday.
Last week, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Teheran probably already had the material necessary to make a nuclear weapon, but Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the Iranians were not yet close to attaining a weapon.
Which raises a question about Gates’ motivation. Israeli intelligence, the IAEA, and his on CJCS say Iran is getting very close. Yet Gates contradicts all of them. Why? Could it be that if Iran is really a threat then that would call into question his belief that counterinsurgency is the future of warfare and accompanying plan to gut every major military modernization program, such as the F-22, FCS, etc.? – post by TransTracker
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said last week that it had been mistaken in earlier reports and now had evidence that Iran has enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.