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Iran Tests Missiles Capable Of Hitting Israel
10-01-2009, 01:40 AM,
Iran Tests Missiles Capable Of Hitting Israel
Iran Tests Missiles Capable Of Hitting Israel

By Gilbert Mercier

Sep 28, 2009

3961737530_9c51e347d2_oToday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard tested the long range missile Shahab-3, as tensions are mounting between the Islamic Republic, Israel and Western powers.

The weapon has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, which would put Israel, most Arab states, and part of Europe within its range. Over the weekend, Iran also launched short-range and medium-range missiles as part of several days of war games.

The timing of these missile tests is likely linked to the talks scheduled to start in Geneva on October 1ST between Iran and the group of six, where the United States will appear for the first time officially. It is a very dangerous gamble for Iran to demonstrate its military muscle at this juncture.

Whether or not Iran has really ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons, the suspicion that it has these ambitions is now bound to grow. The tests are adding to the threat by showing that Iran has, with the Shahab-3, a missile system capable of carrying a nuclear head.

After the tests, Russia has urged the international community for calm. A Russian foreign ministry source told the news agency Interfax that Russia was monitoring the missile tests closely.

“Now is not the time to succumb to emotions, it is necessary to calm down and above all to start up an effective negotiation process. We are awaiting results from the Geneva meeting of the six parties, and are counting on the Iranians not to come to it with empty hands,” the Russian foreign ministry source was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Let’s hope Russia’s call for calm is heard, especially by the Netanyahu administration in Israel. However, a statement of Iran’s defense minister after the missile tests will not help in that regard. Defense minister Ahmad Vahidi warned Israel against launching any attack on the Islamic Republic.

“If the Israeli attack happens, which of course we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be that its expedites the Zionist regime’s last breath,” Vahidi said on Iranian state TV.

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