Sunday, April 02, 2006

Iran successfully tests nuclear-capable missile

Well, it came near the end of the 13 day Noruz(Persian new year) holiday instead of at the beginning, but it appears that once again, information from the Iranian dissident FDI was correct (as reported in Joshuapundit here) as Iran pulled off a successful test of a nuclear-capable missile.

On Friday, a top commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) told Iranian state television that the Islamic Republic had successfully fired off its first stealth missile. Images of the missile taking off were aired on state television.

“Today, we successfully tested a new-generation missile capable of striking several targets simultaneously”, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, who commands the IRGC Air Force, said.

The new domestically-produced missile, labeled the Fajr-3 can “hide from radars” and “evade anti-missile missiles”, Salami said.

The missile makes use of modern “multiple warhead” technology which allows it to strike several targets simultaneously with superior other words, a MIRV and much more sophisticated than Iran's current Shahab-3, which means "shooting star," and also is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Or a gigantic bluff on the part of the Iranians, designed to buy more time until Iran's nuclear weapons program is truly operational!

The bit about hiding from radar and `evading anti-missle missiles' was no doubt a reference to the Israeli-United States jointly developed Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, which is thought to be capable of defending against the Shahab-3.

Iran followed up on this with a test today of a high speed torpedo that it claims `no submarine or warship can escape'. Dubbed the Hoot, or "whale," the new weapon was also shown on Iran's state television, which stopped its normal programs to break the news and show the torpedo being launched from a ship into the Gulf waters, then hitting its target, a derelict ship.

Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' navy, said the ships that fire the Iranian-made Hoot have radar-evading technology and that the torpedo - moving at 223 miles per hour - was too fast to elude.

"It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines. Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed," Fadavi told state television.

Both missile tests took place in the context of large-scale military war games in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea.

My personal view? This was designed to give the US and other interested parties the impression that the Mullahs are capable, willing and able to disrupt oil supplies and transit in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Hormuz if they feel threatened..and to give Iran further leverage with the US in secret talks now being held designed to barter decreased pressure on Iran's nukes in exchange for decreased Iranian pressure and interference in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to enrich uranium, strengthen its military and its air defenses...stay tuned...

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