"Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps tested the Shahab-3 and Sejil missiles in the third phase of a two-day exercise called The Great Prophet IV, state-run news media reported. The missiles are believed to be capable of striking Israel, U.S. military targets in the Middle East and parts of southeastern Europe.
But Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Air Force said the test-firings were part of exercises to practice "preventive and defensive operations." They are "in no way a threat to neighboring countries," Iranian news media quoted him as saying. Rather, the tests send "a message for certain greedy nations that seek to create fear, to show that we are able to give a swift and suitable answer to our enemies." " Washpost
Some will say that justice demands that Iran have the same right to ballistic missiles of various ranges and to nuclear weapons as anyone else. They would be right but that would be irrelevant and dangerous thinking. As I have tried to point out, justice has nothing to do with outcomes in international relations. Only perceived interests and brute strength, whether economic or military matter in the end, perhaps literally the end for someone.
The Iranians are clearly intent on achieving the possession of a variety of ballistic missiles. Such weapons are inherently inaccurate to within a few hundred yards at range. Because of this, they are of no real military value with other than nuclear warheads. The Israelis were afraid of Iraqi SCUDS. Well, I guess that is understandable if one might land in your courtyard, but I was in Baghdad during the "War of the Cities" and I will say again that such weapons have no real military value (other than to frighten civilians) without nuclear warheads.
At the same time, it is now revealed that the Iranians are building a second uranium enrichment plant, one that could be used to further enrich the product of the Natanz plant to a level usable in a fission weapon. They claim that it, too, is to support their nuclear electric program.
How gullible do they think we are?
This place, near Qom, was concealed, is hardened, not reported to the IAEA, is built within an IRGC base, and is too small to be useful for producing fuel for an electric program.
Following "Lang's Rules of Analysis," – The Duck Rule, – The Sherlock Rule or – Occam's Razor one must be led to the conclusion that the Iranians intend to produce nuclear warheads and probably for their missiles.
How long will that take? It will take quite a long time. The engineering and industrial obstacles to be overcome are considerable, but the evidence points to an intention to achieve a "force de frappe" capability that will change the strategic balance by holding foreign cities at risk.
Do the Iranians not understand that they are creating a situation in which it is likely that they will be attacked before they achieve that capability? Do they really not understand that bellicose statements like the one attributed to Salami above only hasten the day? pl