Iran Missile Test


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
Iran has test-fired what it called a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which is capable of reaching its main regional enemy Israel, state media say.

The missile, said to have a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), was one of nine launched from a remote desert site. Iran has tested the Shahab-3 before, but the latest launch comes amid rising tensions with the US and Israel over the country's nuclear programme.

The US denounced the test and called on Iran to abandon its missile programme. Iran should "refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

'Aggressive language'

The aim of the early morning launch of the "upgraded" Shahab-3 missile was to demonstrate Iran's "determination and power to the enemies who have used aggressive language during recent weeks", state media reported.
"We are ready to defend the integrity of the Iranian nation," said the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' air force, Brigadier General Hoseyn Salami.

Two other types of missile with shorter ranges were also fired as part of the Great Prophet III war games being staged by the Guards.

"Our missiles are ready for shooting at any place and any time, quickly and with accuracy," Gen Salami added. "The enemy must not repeat its mistakes. The enemy targets are under surveillance."

The tests are part of an escalating bout of sabre-rattling intended to deter any Israeli or US strike against Tehran's nuclear installations, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

Our correspondent - who is in Israel - says the country has a fully operational anti-ballistic missile system which Israeli military experts believe is capable of countering any Iranian threat. But there is no room for complacency, he adds.

On Monday, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader said it would respond to any military attack by hitting the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

Other commanders have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a large part of the world's oil flows, and to target the US and its allies around the world if Iran comes under attack.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the test justified Washington's plan to base a missile shield plan in Eastern Europe - which is strongly opposed by Russia.

"Those who say that there is no Iranian threat against which to be building missile defences perhaps ought to talk to the Iranians," Ms Rice said in Bulgaria.


Her point was backed by the Republican US presidential candidate, John McCain. His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, said: "Iran is a great threat. We have to make sure we are working with our allies to apply tightened pressure on Iran."

Germany also expressed concern at the missile test with government spokesman Thomas Steg saying: "We call on Iran to refrain from any kind of sabre-rattling."
But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted his country had no intention to attack Israel. He also said Iran did not fear an attack by the US or Israel over its nuclear activities, dismissing the possibility as a "joke".

Speaking during a visit to Malaysia on Tuesday, Mr Ahmadinejad said the economic, political and military situation would dissuade US President George W Bush from any such move.

The missile test came shortly after the US Treasury announced new financial sanctions on Iranian officials it suspected of involvement in the country's nuclear programme.

The launch came as G8 leaders called for Iran to halt uranium enrichment.
Western leaders have been attempting to convince Tehran to stop enriching uranium, which it has continued despite the imposition of sanctions by the UN and the European Union.
Iran insists its nuclear research is for a civilian energy programme.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran sends missile test warning

What's going on here?
Last month, Israel rehearsed for possible Iranian attack. This month Iranians show they are capable of defending and counter attacking should US/Israel attack. And both actions seem to justify each other's beliefs that the opposite will attack them at any time.


Heavy Weapons Guy
Well, the Iranian situation seems to be a complicated matter. I don't think it's going to end without problems. Hopefully full-blown war doesn't become the only option. But if they don't back down, do we have a choice?


Certified Shitlord
I've always thought Iran was the problem, not Iraq.

Unfortunately, the US has its dick stuck in Iraq at the moment and I would not be a fan of seeing us go into yet another war.
#6 you don't see the entire "we're going to sanction you until you dance on the head of a pin to the tune we're whistling" as having anything to do with this, then? The membership in the WTO.. no?

I hope someone kicks Merkel in the head and tells her to stop trying to get another back rub from Bush. Or at least makes her specify to the morons in the papers that she's not speaking for the EU, the Quartet, or anyone else but apparently herself, Bush and Blair (who is now a special middle east "envoy"), when she's mirroring the idea that nuclear enrichment must be halted as a condition for diplomacy with Iran.

Seriously - where was the outrage when Israel didn't just threaten to invade someone, but actually struck targets in Syria, and invaded Lebanon - and that's not even a year ago (..leaving aside the entire Gaza problem).


not a plastic bag
I think Iran just does it to keep oil prices high. They know the world will negotiate before any attacks, so they can back off - provoke -back off - provoke....

Oil took a $10 dive in 2 days. Iran immediately tested 3 missiles. The thing about speculators running oil prices up is that when the momentum changes, the price can fall very rapidly. The lower oil falls the more missiles Iran will fire.


Heavy Weapons Guy
I was outraged. And because I was outraged, I supported Israel. They were blowing Israelis up and harboring terrorists.
...let's just look at the facts. For I while I used to get daily briefings from a friend about how they were getting reports about Hizballah infiltrating the middle east, that Iran was behind it, and that soon the new Islamic caliphate would rise and crush Israel for good.

But it turns out that the link between Hizballah in Lebanon and Iran is tenuous, and does not stretch to involve more than relatively minor support in form of money. In addition, there appears to be no sound plan about coups being orchestrated - Hizballah just doesn't work this way, and appears to have little interest, or skill, in actually holding government positions. We also know that they would not succeed if they did seize power, as they are dependent to a fair extent on support from the west to have money to pay people in government. Neither can a country live on aid for any length of time - therefore, Hizballah would not rise to power. (Please question that argument, and specify the scenarios where you see it's possible that Hizballah would, for example with the help of Iran, turn into a regional political force).

At the same time, Israel has the blessing of the west, it has a military, it has money. And it strikes, repeatedly, targets inside countries they border with - whether that is in response to "existential threats" such as North- Korean nuclear phantom missiles in Syria, or whether it is against evil terrorists in Lebanon. Or if it is to maintain military interests such as a buffer- zone towards outside forces large enough to control.

And we can of course disagree about the methods being used on either side, or the status of Israel - or perhaps the solution to the future state of Israel as a non- jewish state, against a two- state solution.

But I don't think it's too much to ask that people do not suggest a war against Iran is legitimate based on the idea that it wants to destroy Israel, or can destroy Israel. And that we instead look for explanations for the current predicament in terms of that Iran responds to a certain amount of rising threats and increasing incursions in the border area towards the north and Afghanistan (more here).

While we also perhaps can take into account that if the US attacked Iran, and caused a close down of Hormuz, or some of the refinaries blew up - there wouldn't be a $10 rise in oil- prices. Also, with the situation in Iraq and the surrounding areas, there's no need to do anything to increase the oil- prices. Due to the domestic problems, they also need to burn oil for electricity and fuel themselves. So try to consider whether one scenario or the other are remotely reasonable, before suggesting that Iran somehow can "control" the price here by randomly launching missiles.

You should also know that the kind of rhetoric in Washington, and the prevailing acceptance for that narrative has made many in Iran consider a soft coup of some sort up to several times during the past few years.

Because as long as the nuclear issue persists (that is, that they are robbed of the opportunity to use nuclear power to generate power - safely, with the technology they are supposed to be granted as long as they are signees to the NPT, and subject themselves to IAEA inspections - which they do... As long as this is not settled, they need to rely on regulated oil- exports for state revenue - that is, deals with various foreign governments and companies for building refinary capacity, and so on - and spending incredible amounts of this oil on electricity). As long as the nuclear issue persists - there is an excuse here to keep Iran from becoming a respected nation with normal ties to other governments. And besides that it is the leadership issue. And after that it's something else. So I know several people who would've been willing to accept another humiliation (like the five, six before - read your history books, please), and end this in the hope of a potentially better future.

Since there are just so many things you can do in a country that is kept fairly badly in check by being dependent on the charity of other nations to achieve anything from an airline system to an effective communications network. War nearby certainly also does not help.

So while I'm sure a lot of Iranians would drop the big one on either Israel or Washington if they could - consider the kinds of circumstances all of this actually takes place in. And try to interpret what we're doing in - if not from their perspective, then at least see what we're doing now in relation to what we have done before.


not a plastic bag
Maybe I misunderstand, but I don't understand why you would say this:

While we also perhaps can take into account that if the US attacked Iran, and caused a close down of Hormuz, or some of the refinaries blew up - there wouldn't be a $10 rise in oil- prices. Also, with the situation in Iraq and the surrounding areas, there's no need to do anything to increase the oil- prices. Due to the domestic problems, they also need to burn oil for electricity and fuel themselves. So try to consider whether one scenario or the other are remotely reasonable, before suggesting that Iran somehow can "control" the price here by randomly launching missiles.

OPEC warns against military conflict with Iran - International Herald Tribune

The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries warned Thursday that oil prices would see an "unlimited" increase in the case of a military conflict involving Iran, because the group's members would be unable to make up the lost production. "We really cannot replace Iran's production - it's not feasible to replace it," Abdalla Salem El-Badri, the OPEC secretary general, said during an interview.
Iran, the second-largest producing country in OPEC, after Saudi Arabia, produces about 4 million barrels of oil a day out of the daily worldwide production of close to 87 million barrels. The country has been locked in a lengthy dispute with Western countries over its nuclear ambitions.
In recent weeks, the price of oil has risen higher on speculation that Israel could be preparing to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The saber-rattling intensified this week with missile tests by Iran. That has further shaken oil markets because of concerns that any conflict with Iran could disrupt oil shipments from the Gulf region.
"The prices would go unlimited," Badri said during the interview, referring to the effect of a military conflict. "I can't give you a number."

And another:
Oil rebounds as Iran tensions flare: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
Oil prices rebounded by more than $5 a barrel Thursday, as another missile launch by Iran stoked worries that escalating political tensions in the Middle East could cut off supplies out of the region.
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