comment by Jerry Gordon
You have seen our posts on the Iranian missile rattling. Our colleagues Maj. General Paul Vallely, member of the ACT advisory board, former Assistant USAF Chief of State, General Thomas W. McInerny and Dr. Jill Dekker, NATO expert on bio-warfare have cogent comments in this Middle East Times story assessing Iran’s missile delivery capabilities for nuclear, chemical and bio-warfare.
“The Iranian’s are not just igniting something that goes off,” Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army, ret.), former deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Pacific and current co-chairman of the Iran Policy Committee (IPC), tells me. “They are currently fine-tuning their systems to include perfecting command-and-control, launching, tracking, trajectory, those kinds of things. They’ve yet to perfect putting a warhead on the Shahab, but they’re working toward full-capability, including nuclear, biological, and chemical.”
Dr. Jill Dekker, a bio-warfare expert and consultant to NATO, agrees.
“Both Iran and Syria possess highly advanced chemical and biological weapons programs,” says Dekker. “Syria’s chem[ical] program is more advanced than Iran’s, but both countries’ bio-programs have benefited from former Soviet labs and more recently from North Korea. And Iran has a very advanced bio program, which is highly imbedded in their pharmaceutical industry.”
She adds, “However, both chem and bio have been almost ignored or eclipsed by the focus on nuclear weapons.” And Iran might well-employ chemical, biological, or conventionally armed missiles just as fast as – perhaps faster than – any acquired nukes.
Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney (U.S. Air Force, ret.), former assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force and current IPC advisory council chairman, proposes a reciprocal message: “We should immediately deploy F-22s [America’s brand-new air-supremacy fighter] to the region to send a very strong signal that we too mean business!”
by W. Thomas Smith, Jr., Middle East Times, July 15, 2008
In the wake of Iran’s lighting off several medium-range ballistic missiles, or MRBMs – including one that never got off the ground, but was doctored in a widely publicized photograph to make it look as if it did – there has been much speculation about Iran’s missile capability: The greatest fear being that Iranian MRBMs could strike targets almost anywhere in the Middle East, including Israel and many U.S. bases, perhaps even reaching targets in southern and eastern Europe (perhaps most of Europe if Iran decided to move some of its missiles to Hezbollah-controlled zones in Lebanon).
Even worse is the prospect that a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran could tip its missiles with nuclear warheads.
According to Iran, the missiles tested included a new and improved version of the Shahab-3 (in some circles known as the Shahab-4), an MRBM capable of hitting targets 1,250 miles away from their launching sites.
U.S. Defense Department officials, however, say Iran did not test anything new, and it is doubtful that any Shahab missile launched last week would be able to reach out beyond 800 miles. Iran was “firing off old equipment in an attempt to intimidate their neighbors and escalate tension in the region,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. (Continue Reading this Article)