The military alliance’s latest review of security threats, released today, highlights the “proliferation of ballistic missiles” as a “threat to Allied populations, territory and forces”.
General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, author of the report, said: “Over 30 countries around the world have, or are acquiring, ballistic missile technology that could eventually be used to carry not just conventional warheads, but also weapons of mass destruction.”
Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department, dismissed as “bizarre” the reports, which described the transfer of enriched uranium and ballistic missile technology back and forth between the two rogue regimes.
If Iran is not forced to disclose the full extent and nature of its outside nuclear work to the United States, there is virtually no avenue to guarantee that it is living up to its promises made in the negotiating room, according to multiple experts and sources in Europe apprised of the ongoing talks.
Gordon Chang, a North Korea expert who has written in recent days about Iran’s possible “secret program” there, described the State Department’s dismissal of these reports as naïve. Continue reading →
As mentioned in a previous post, and as new details emerge, the assertion of Iran’s satellite launch being focused primarily on ICBM delivery capability rather than the launching of the satellite itself has become more apparent.
Navid was launched into orbit by a missile launch-vehicle called Safir, or Ambassador. The IRNA said Safir has 20 percent more launch power compared to earlier versions Iran used to launch satellites into orbit.
According to an Iranian website Irannuc.ir, Safir is a ballistic missile launch vehicle and can be converted into use for launching intercontinental missiles. The Washington Post reports U.S. State Department officials have confirmed this claim, saying the technology used in launching Safir rocket was “critical” to developing long-range ballistic missiles. The U.S.officials also say Iran’s action violated a 2010 U.N. resolution prohibiting Iran from conducting launches using ballistic missile technology.
The West has for long been watching Iran’s space program with growing unease because its emphasis on developing ballistic missile technology will give Iran the capability to fire ICBMs carrying nuclear warheads. According to the U.S. and Israel, Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them using intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology.