by Jerry Gordon

2008_07_09t083902_450×319_us_iran_nuclear.jpgWithin hours after President Ahmadinejad told an attentive world media from leafy Kuala Lampur, Malaysia that he wanted "no war with the US and Israel," his Revolutionary Guards rattled their missile scimitars. They pushed the button on tests of several medium and long range missiles, especially the Shehab III, with a range of 2,000 kms (1,250 miles) and a payload of one ton of conventional explosives. That clearly puts Israel in the bullseye. It is a message that told Israel, the US and the world that this was Iran's 'counter' to last month's massive Israeli air exercise over Crete in the eastern Mediterranean.

The US went into a immediate mode of trying to assess Iranian missile delivery capabilities. Coincidentally, the Secretary Rice signed a missile shield agreement with Czechoslovakia in Prague, today. Presidential GOP candidate McCain suggested developing "an effective" missile shield to Israel and other allies in Europe and the Middle East. Presumptive Democratic nominee Obama essentially said 'au contraire'. While he suggested that the Iranian missile tests represented "a grave threat", both dialogue with Iran and perhaps more 'carrot and stick' sanctions would be in order. The spot price of crude oil futures on NYMEX wasn't fazed by all this bellicose posturing. Prices remained stable at $136.05 a barrel.

At House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, chaired by Howard Berman (D-CA), he pointed out this was evidence of Iran's nuclear threat. Berman noted fecklessly:

"No one knows precisely when Iran will produce a nuclear bomb. But it will be soon."

Berman urged the U.S., China and European 'allies', needs to make "an unconditional effort" to engage Iran diplomatically.

"I reject those who believe that talking is tantamount to surrender," he said.

Gordon Johnroe, spokesperson for the National Security Council said: The missile tests were "completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world."

"The Iranian regime only furthers the isolation of the Iranian people from the international community when it engages in this sort of activity."

"They should also refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world," he added, speaking from Japan, where President Bush is attending the Group of Eight summit.

Israel said nothing. It knows that its Arrow anti-missile system, developed and successfully tested with US assistance is capable of countering the long range Shahab III missile. It also knows that US Congressmen like Mark Kirk (R-IL) have urged the US to include Israel under the proposed missile shield. But, more importantly, Israel's military planners have relentless assembled strategic and tactical intelligence from its Ofek spy satellites in the sky and on the ground HUMINT concerning targets in any raid on Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran also knows that the formidable US CVA battle groups on station have the means of retaliating against Revolutionary air, missile and naval assaults, and will not tolerate threats to close the vital Straits of Hormuz oil passageways.

The world quivers and shakes as Ahmadinejad and his revolutionary guards shoot off missiles. But, both the US and Israel are prepared to counter the threat.


You are here:   HomeLearnRecent NewsRecent NewsMiddle East Missile Madness: Iran plays tit for Israel's tat. Are we ready?