Iran missile launch 521.
(photo credit:REUTERS/Stringer Iran)
Iran has overtaken North Korea in the development of long-range sophisticated
missiles, as demonstrated by the recent launch of a number of new missiles
during military maneuvers in Iran, Uzi Rubin, the former head of Israel’s Homa
Missile Defense Agency, said on Thursday.
According to Rubin, during the
Great Prophet War Games held earlier this month, Iran displayed a new ballistic
missile that has been converted to be used against ships. This is considered a
significant breakthrough since most anti-ship missiles are cruise missiles that
fly parallel to the water’s surface while this missile takes a ballistic course
toward its target.
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“This is a direct threat on the US Navy along Iran’s
coast,” Rubin said. “The Iranians took a Fateh-110 rocket, which is also in
Hezbollah hands, installed on it a guidance system and turned it into an
Rubin’s remarks came ahead of a missile defense
conference later this month near Tel Aviv, which will be attended by senior
defense officials from around the world, including US Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for Space and Defense Policy Frank Rose, US Missile Defense Agency
Deputy Director for International Affairs Rob Helfant and the deputy defense
minister of the Czech Republic.
“The Iranian’s missile program is running
ahead and the moment they have a nuclear weapon, they will have the means to
launch it,” Rubin said.
Earlier this week, diplomatic sources warned that
Iran was preparing to install centrifuges for higher-grade uranium enrichment in
an underground bunker.
Preparatory work is under way at the Fordow
tucked deep inside a mountain to protect it against any attacks, and
machines used to refine uranium could soon be moved to the site near Qom, the
The Islamic republic said in June it would shift production
of uranium that is enriched to 20 percent purity to Fordow from its main Natanz
plant this year and triple its output capacity, in a defiant response to charges
that it is trying to make atomic bombs.
Tehran only disclosed the
existence of Fordow two years ago after Western intelligence detected it and
said it was evidence of covert nuclear activities.
The facility has yet
to start operating.
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