Iran announces its missiles can reach Israel and Europe. World apathetic

Iranian missile test

Iranians watch Shahab-2 missile test launch outside Qom

So much has been written defending Iran from accusations of nuclear proliferation, claiming its nuclear program is either non-existent or for peaceful purposes only, especially in the Israel-unfriendly Guardian, so it comes as rather a surprise to find a Guardian article with the straightforward headline: Iran ‘will not make longer-range missiles as Israel is already in reach’.

Certainly there are no two ways that the Iranians’ intentions can be read.

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has claimed his country can produce even longer range missiles than those already in its arsenal, but will not because Israel and US bases in the Gulf are already within its reach.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the guards’ aerospace force, made the remarks as Iran conducts 10 days of war games, its latest show of military force amid a standoff with the west over the country’s nuclear programme.

Hajizadeh said the guards’ arsenal already included missiles with a range of about 1,250 miles (2,000km) – putting Israel, US bases in the Gulf and parts of south-eastern and eastern Europe within Iran’s reach.

The missiles, he said, were designed for Israeli and US targets. Iran’s known missiles of such range are the Shahab-3 and the Sajjil. Iran considers Israel and the US its main enemies.

Hajizadeh said some US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan were as close as 75 miles from Iran’s borders and could easily be hit by Iran in case of an attack.

One would think that there would be more of a worldwide outcry at this overt statement of aggression, not only towards Israel which is usually cast in the role of international scapegoat or at least dispensable, but also towards European and US assets.  However so far all we have heard are figurative finger-wagging and limp statements of concern by Britain and NATO, plus some mild sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Mr Hague told the Commons that Iran “has been carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches, including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload”.

Those tests were in clear contravention of United Nations Security Council resolutions forbidding Iran from developing a military nuclear programme, he said. British officials said that the nuclear tests took place separately from the current, publicly declared tests.

Britain believes that since last October, Iranian forces have carried out three secret tests of missiles that could be used to carry nuclear material.

Britain has reported those tests to the United Nations, but has not previously made them public.

The International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) last month raised “concern” about possible secret Iranian nuclear weapons development.

Even those minimal sanctions that are in force are being applied half-heartedly. Israel has condemned the Germans for hosting an Iranian Majlis (Parliament) delegation to the Bundestag. What kind of lesson does that teach Iran?

Even if the missiles being tested by Iran are not capable of carrying nuclear warheads – and that is not clear at the moment according to the British – the fact remains that long-range ballistic missiles are dangerous in themselves too. We only have to remember the Scuds launched at Israel in Gulf War I to understand.

The only country besides Israel to vociferously protest the Iranian nuclear programme is Saudi Arabia who threaten to escalate the arms race by opening their own nuclear weapons program.

A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device “would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences”.

He did not state explicitly what these policies would be, but a senior official in Riyadh who is close to the prince said yesterday his message was clear.

“We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t. It’s as simple as that,” the official said. “If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit.”

According to a transcript of his speech obtained by the Guardian, Turki told his audience that Iran was a “paper tiger with steel claws” that was “meddling and destabilising” across the region.

“Iran … is very sensitive about other countries meddling in its affairs. But it should treat others like it expects to be treated. The kingdom expects Iran to practise what it preaches,” Turki said.

Let the (arms) race begin!

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23 Responses to Iran announces its missiles can reach Israel and Europe. World apathetic

  1. reality says:

    what are we waiting for? why don’t we just destroy Iran?

    • anneinpt says:

      1) It’s not physically feasible.
      2) It’s not really what we want. We only want to get rid of the Mad Mullahs and their regime. And their nukes of course.
      The problem is to get the world on board with us. They’re only very half-heartedly half-way there.

  2. cba says:

    I misread the end of your headline. I thought you’d written “World pathetic.”

    Which, frankly, much of it kinda is.

  3. Earl says:

    I found this to be a useful org chart as to “Who rules Iran?”:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6511245.ece

    I’m reading that Khomeini is at daggers with the Dwarf, so who knows what might fall out of that. Above all, I would expect that the IRG would protect its mafia state, irrespective of the “political” leadership.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hmm. Interesting article, Earl, thanks for the link. It makes Iranian politics seem positively Byzantine (if you excuse the pun). But since it dates from 2009 some of it is not relevant any more. Rafsanjani is no longer head of the Council of Experts so what influence can he have?

      Re the IRG, you are probably right. It will be interesting (hopefully not in the “Chinese” sense) to see how it plays out.

  4. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Interesting, that almost afterthought re Saudi Arabia. I’ve noted before and elsewhere that Saudi actually prefers a stable Israel (whatever the government rhetoric might be) to an unstable, Hamas- or Hezbollah-dominated Palestine. From their point of view, a stable, sane, Israel (irrespective of the political colour of the government, and setting aside a Leibowitz or two) is far preferable to an unstable Islamist, Jihadist regime in the same place. And as for an Islamist Iran…

    I make no comment here on the nature of the actually unlovely regime in power in Jeddah, but, from Israel’s point of view, it might actually be preferable, in terms of realpolitik, to some things that might replace it.

    • anneinpt says:

      I quite agree with you on both counts. It’s amusing to watch people’s reactions when they realize that the Saudis (the Saudis!) prefer Israel to Iran, even a (gasp!) Likud-led Israel. And as you say, it works in the opposite direction too, however distasteful the Saudi regime is.

      And welcome to my blog!

  5. Osirak says:

    I guess we’re all more worried about the ones Israel has targeting Western countries: the ones with real nukes on top.

    • anneinpt says:

      Since you seem so well-informed, please give us a list with a link of all the Western countries which Israel is targeting with its nuclear weapons.

      Of course, you won’t be able to. This is yet another of those stupid conspiracy theories so beloved of antisemites and anti-Zionists who have come to believe their own propaganda.

  6. Osirak says:

    And how do you know that Israel isn’t targeting us? It refuses to allow UN inspection, or to sign any of the international nuclear treaties, and Israeli governments are forever whingeing that we’re its enemies. Israel sinks US warships and sends out its death squads with fake British passports: SURE it loves us. You say conspiracy theory, I say sensible risk assessment.

    • anneinpt says:

      And how do you know that Israel is targeting the West? Honestly, as conspiracy theories go, this one takes the cake. As if Israel hasn’t got enough to deal with, with Iran, Syria, an unstable Lebanon, unstable Iraq on its door step, it’s got to target its friends? You still have not brought any proof. It’s not a sensible risk assessment either. If you seriously think it is, I suggest you buy a gas mask, just like Israeli citizens need to have, build yourself a bomb shelter in your house, just like Israeli citizens need to have, and stock up on a month’s supplies, just like Israeli citizens need to have, and start praying, just like Israeli citizens need to do. Oh, and join your army, just like Israeli citizens need to do.

      Once again, there you go with another conspiracy theory about Israel sinking warships. It has been debunked by the Americans themselves.

      As to using fake passports, I’m sure every foreign intelligence department uses its operatives own passports under their own nationality. Right! Of course!

  7. Jacen says:

    So what? Israel has enough nukes (and the capability to launch them) to wipe out every other country surrounding it, don’t see why others shouldn’t be able to do the same (especially when Israel refuses to give official info or to allow inspectors – at least Iran DOES SOMETIMES allow inspectors). I’m sick of this “poor widdle Israel, we have to help her protect herself” nonsense. And the double standard with nuclear weapons is ridiculous – we look the other way and secretly hand ISrael nukes along with other countries, but DAMNED if someone else in the region should be allowed to have some as well.

    • anneinpt says:

      The difference is that Israel has a) never actually admitted that it has nuclear weapons. It is generally assumed but no one knows for sure. As a consequence of this, b) Israel has never threatened to wipe any other country off the map, as Iran has done so regarding Israel – and which is documented.

      Iran may “sometimes” allow inspectors – however it is OBLIGED to do so under the NPT treaty to which it is a signatory. Israel never signed up to this treaty and therefore is under no obligation to allow inspectors. You might not think it fair, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. The IAEA itself has declared that Iran is in breach of the NPT and is developing dangerous nuclear weapons technology.

      As for protecting “poor little Israel” – Israel is not asking for protection. Israel is asking for the world to sit up and take notice and take action against Iran which is threatening Europe and American assets in Europe and the Middle East at least as much as it threatens Israel itself. In the end it will be Israel itself who has to protect Europe and not vice versa. Will Israel be condemned once again and as per usual for doing the world’s dirty work? Talk about double standards!

      As for handing Israel nukes – where did you get the idea that anyone handed nukes to Israel? Do you think that Israeli engineers are incapable of inventing these themselves – on the assumption that Israel has any at all?

  8. Prince says:

    I think you do not read what you write.. So the west can dictate who can have and who can’t have the bomb? Yet its themselves who make unending wars and even used 2 nukes! And yeah stop with the lie ‘iran threaten to wipe israel off the map’. Purely pathetic your whim @anneinpt

    • anneinpt says:

      No, it’s not the west who’s dictating who can have nukes. In case it escaped your notice there are many non-western countries with nukes already, e.g. Russia and Pakistan, not to mention China.

      And yes, the civilised world, which includes non-western countries, can dictate who deserves to have nukes, via the UN’s IAEA. Iran signed up to the NPT, so they have to abide by it. They should have thought of that before they signed up.

      As for what you claim is a lie about Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map, it is you who has reading disabilities. Read my comment further up this thread, where I bring proof of what Ahmadinjejad said. But I’m sure you won’t read it. Cognitive dissonance is not your game is it?

      Furthermore, read my actual article where I bring quotes from Iranian officials who state openly that their missiles can reach Israel.

  9. Prince says:

    Lol i think you do not live in this world. You are getting mad just because ‘iranian missiles can reach israel’? Yet israeli missiles can reach all the world! Israel have several times threaten to strike iran, it has launch terrorist attacks in iran, armed the kurds to attack iran and turkey- do u ignore these facts?

    And yes there are many non western countries with nukes BUT can you tell me that the west was happy with it as it is with israel having nukes? The fact is the west dictate who can have nukes, not as you said! If you are no friend of the west and want nuke, you must do it in dark! This makes you a liar, in the same group as netanyahu, some days back the french president said he is a liar! And you trust these liars!

    • anneinpt says:

      You are reversing cause and effect, as all Israel haters do. Sure, Israeli missiles can reach Iran. At least I hope so! That’s because Iran has been threatening to blast Israel ever since the Ayatollahs took over the regime.

      What terrorist attacks in Iran has Israel carried out? Give me dates, places and links.

      Israel armed the Kurds? So did everyone else! Iran arms Hezbollah and Hamas. Payback is a bitch.

  10. Prince says:

    About wiping israel off the map, let me give you my views. I will be straight forward. Israel is a non existant entity for most ppl, it has born out of terrorism. They are still looking for recognition! Iran does not recognise ‘israel’ and ‘israel’ is not a word Ahmadinejad will say. The land being occupied is called palestine, and it is occupy by zionists. A land can not be wiping off the map, can it? Moreover never will iran dare to attack the palestinians lands! What iran says is- the zionist regime occupying palestinians land must disappear- a regime change, not a nuclear bomb on palestine!

    • anneinpt says:

      Israel is a non existant entity for most ppl,

      That’s funny. I live here, and believe me, it exists very well indeed!

      it has born out of terrorism.

      No it was not. It was born out of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 followed by the San Remo Conference in 1920, and by UN Resolution in 1947.

      Iran does not recognise ‘israel’ and ‘israel’ is not a word Ahmadinejad will say.

      And therefore… what? It just goes to show Ahmadinejad is not living in the real world and denies reality. In other words, a lunatic.

      The land being occupied is called palestine

      There never was a country called Palestine. There was a region called Palestine, administered by the British until it was partitioned into Jordan (for the Palestinians, so Jordan is now Palestine) and Israel, the homeland for the Jews.

      it is occupy by zionists.

      Well, it’s true that Zionists live there. Also Palestinians, Muslims, Christians, Druse, Bahai and atheists. Unlike the Arab countries where only Muslims are allowed. Apartheid anyone?

      Moreover never will iran dare to attack the palestinians lands!

      Just like Iran doesn’t attack anyone via its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah… oh, wait…

      a regime change, not a nuclear bomb on palestine!

      That is not what Ahmadinejad said. I told you above. Read my comment and stop being lazy and stupid. He didn’t have to mean a nuclear bomb. A regular bomb is quite enough.

  11. Prince says:

    About iran signed the NPT, tell me something, will you stop crying if iran remove itself from the NPT? And please do not bring on the ‘UN’ in this debate lol, since its establishment more wars have been made. Its a political tool, that’s all. There’s no love for the middle east in most western institution, so , bear in mind, we do not care a shit about your institutions and even less about your double standard democracy! Democracy? My foot. A lebanese got sacked in the US just for voicing her opinion on a deceased! Should we talk of israel’s democracy? Lol am telling all that to prove that the west is no civilised democratic world! So calm down on that.

    • anneinpt says:

      About iran signed the NPT, tell me something, will you stop crying if iran remove itself from the NPT?

      I couldn’t give two hoots about the NPT. But Iran is a signatory and has to abide by its rules. But that is irrelevant in any case, since Iran is moving fast towards attaining a nuclear bomb, NPT notwithstanding.

      And please do not bring on the ‘UN’ in this debate lol, since its establishment more wars have been made. Its a political tool, that’s all

      That’s the first true thing you have written. In which case why does everyone make such a fuss about Israel abiding by UN resolutions? Especially when the Arabs and Iran don’t. You’re all hypocrites.]

      A lebanese got sacked in the US just for voicing her opinion on a deceased!

      And therefore what? Why should I care about the US? I’m not American.

      Should we talk of israel’s democracy?

      Yes indeed you should. Then you might learn what real democracy is all abuot.

      the west is no civilised democratic world!

      It’s a lot more civilised than the Arab and Muslim world. No cutting off hands for thieves. No stoning adulterers. No murdering women who have been raped, or who dressed wrongly or who spoke out of turn or who simply existed.

  12. anneinpt says:

    I’m turning off comments to this post. It’s all irrelevant now since the IAEA has confirmed that Iran is working towards attaining the nuclear bomb and has almost accomplished this. Secondly, the comments are becoming stupid. No point discussing this further.

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