Crossfire War: Russian Expert Says Iran Has Mid-Range Ballistic Missiles

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Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Eurasia Theatre: Moscow/Tehran; Russian Missile Expert States Iran Has Mid-Range Ballistic Missiles Perhaps Capable of Carrying Nuclear Warheads

Night Watch: MOSCOW – Russian missile expert Yury Solomonov, Director of Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering and chief designer of Russia’s Topol strategic missile, was quoted over RIA Novosti as saying, “Iran has neither the scientific nor the technological capability to build ICBM’s.” (Intercontinental ballistic missiles) But he added that Iran is able to build mid-range missiles capaple of carrying nuclear warheads. {RIA Novosti]

Regular readers of crossfirewar.com know that Iran has been basing its ballistic missile designs on exports, primarily from North Korea, who first sold the Scud-A missile to Iran and Iraq during the war between them during the 1980’s. Both militaries would target the missile very precisely at each others military headquarters and the location of the enemy headquarters was no secret but the missile never came anywhere near it. Depending on where the missile was launched from, I don’t think the range was more than 400 miles, it was lucky if it hit a Baghdad or Tehran suburb and sometimes the warhead was a dud. During the Gulf War 1990-91 its accuracy had not improved. That is why I have often stated nothing works as well as advertised.

Since then of course Pyongyang has sold more advanced versions of the Scud – B, C, longer ranges, perhaps nearly 1,000 miles and the basis of Iran’s Shahab – 3 that has a range of nearly 2,000 miles. A year ago an Iranian military official stated that once you develop ballistic missiles it is easy to add more stages, in other words increase the range. The wire services have occasionally mentioned the longer range Shahab-4 that might be able to come close to Saudi Arabia’s CSS-2 mid-range missile Riyadh purchased from Beijing 20 years ago. The CSS-2’s range is 2,500 miles (4,000 km). That means of course that more than just neighboring countries should be concerned.

A year ago an Iranian exile informed me that when he last visited Tehran, August 2001, the hotel where he stayed had a lot of Chinese technicians he assumed were working on weapons of mass destruction. Though Iran may never have the ICBM capability as China, crossfirewar.com last October featured a linked article from Seapower magazine, from the Navy League of the United States, that reported it is possible to launch a Scud missile from a cargo ship offshore and the Pentagon knows Iran has been testing it.

Before this year is over the world will see how accurate Iran’s missiles are. I suspect India is their first target.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.