Iran Unveils New Missile, Starts Air Defense Site
By Yeganeh Torbati/Reuters
There has been an upsurge in rhetoric from Israeli politicians this month suggesting Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear facilities ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.
Iran, which denies trying to develop a nuclear bomb, says it could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region if it comes under attack.
It has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the neck of the Gulf through which 40 percent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass. Such a move would probably invite a military response from the United States.
“HARD NUT TO CRACK”
Paul Beaver, a London-based defence analyst, said Tuesday’s moves appear to be geared at showing the world Iran is prepared for an attack on its nuclear facilities, and said Iran had been able to upgrade air defence systems dating from before the 1979 Islamic revolution with Russian and perhaps Chinese equipment.
“We have seen 20 years of development of the Iranian air defence system,” Beaver told Reuters. “I believe that Iran is a very hard nut to crack.”
Iran is also locked in a years-long dispute with Russia over the high-precision S-300 air defence system, which Moscow has refused to deliver to Tehran in order to comply with expanded U.N. sanctions passed in 2010.
Iran said earlier this month that it had successfully test-fired the new Fateh-110 model and that it was equipped with a more accurate guidance system.
“This missile is one of the most precise and advanced land-to-land ballistic missiles using solid fuel,” Vahidi was quoted as saying by Fars.