(aka Sejil-2) Iran’s new MRBM and the latest complication in the brewing nuclear arms race in the Middle East:
WASHINGTON (AP) – The missile test-fired by Iran is the longest-range solid-propellant missile it has launched yet, a U.S. government official said sejil-2Wednesday, raising concerns about whether the sophistication of Tehran’s missile program is increasing. The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss technical details of Iran’s missile program, said Tehran has demonstrated shorter-range solid-propellant missiles in the past. Solid-propellant rockets are a concern because they can be fueled in advance and moved or hidden in silos, the official said. Liquid-propellant rockets have to be fueled and fired quickly, which makes preparations for launches easier to monitor and would allow a preemptive strike if necessary.
What’s next? Undoubtedly this only raises Israel’s concern over Iran’s direction and intent where nuclear weapons are concerned and if Ahmadinejad successfully stands for re-election (he faces three other candidates and the launch comes a mere two days after the election cycle began), it is safe to say we will only see more of the same from Tehran. Israel? Given the action versus Iraq and the Osiraq nuclear reactor, how long before Israel decides that the only recourse is a pre-emptive strike? As far as US actions, if there needed to be an underscore to the re-direction that US missile-defense research, development and deployment is taking towards greater regional and theater capabilities, this certainly would seem to fill the bill.
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