Above: IRGC-ASF parades thirty TEL-mounted MRBMs, September 2013
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Talks on a permanent Iran nuclear accord opened Tuesday with the U.S. pressing Tehran to agree the deal should encompass caps on its expanding ballistic missile capabilities.
The dispute is the latest in a growing number of issues that divide Washington and Tehran as the Obama administration seeks to use diplomacy to end the military threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
The U.S. and its allies view Iran's missiles as part of the country's potential nuclear threat, thus a subject for the talks on a permanent nuclear agreement.
"They have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
But Iran says the missiles are part of its defense establishment and beyond the limits of nuclear talks. In any case, the issue of whether Iran's ballistic missile capabilities will be on the agenda already has exposed a rift between the Americans and Iranians.Focusing on Iranian defense-related issues on the first day of negotiations in Vienna serves to deflect and throw off balance Iran's stated agenda of demonstrating its nuclear program is peaceful in nature.
This is the sort of thing the SL branch of IRIG, the IRGC and a majority of Iran's parliament have been expecting, in their publicly voiced pessimism that these talks would not succeed.
Like the previous Khatami administration during the early 2000's where Iran made attempts at improving relations with the U.S., Britain and France, engaging in negotiations in 2003 that went nowhere and even going so far as assisting U.S. military endeavors during the lead-up and initial phase of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the current Rouhani administration has gone out on a political limb in again reaching out to the United States with hopes of improved relations.
By focusing on matters of Iran's defense crucial to its doctrine of deterrence from attack, the Obama administration risks missing opportunities the likes of which missed during the Bush administration, and by doing so potentially providing a domestically perceived sense of vindication to political forces inside Iran dismissive or outright resistant to yet another Iranian outreach effort.
iran wil lnot negotiate about its missiles progrqam
Not a good start at all,more proof if ever it was needed that the west was never going to be taking these talks seriously
How goes the saying: Give somebody an inch, and he will take a mile.
If a peaceful and transparent program can be verified, trough appropriate safeguards and controls, military considerations become irrelevant. This rather shows that the west is rather bent on letting the talks fail, blaming Iran as always and thereby giving the hardliners in Iran a new momentum. This is also in line with Israels "recommendations" on how to handle Iran, as revealed by Wikileaks.
They're basically asking Iran to provide them with more leverage over itself!!
I hate it when Khamenei is right!
The first meetings on the comprehensive deal will focus on all issues that need to be addressed. Actually that approach was suggested by the Iranian negotiators so it would be clear from the outset what issues need to be dealt with in the talks. Now among the issues are four sets of UN Security Council resolutions that have been approved by all the permanent members of the Security Council that are negotiating with Iran now, including Russia and China.
Security Council Resolution 1929 addresses the issue of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapon. The paragraph 9 reads as follow:
The Security Council “Decides that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that states shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”
These issues need to be addressed in the next few months. Lifting all sanctions against Iran requires that the Security Council declares that its four resolutions have been all satisfied, including the paragraph above on ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Why did you think that the two sides could strike a comprehensive deal without addressing the UN resolutions? This is just the beginning of the negotiations, and all these issues will be identified to be discussed and eventually resolved.
To all commentators that have so far commented on Mark's post: If a comprehensive deal is to be struck in these negotiations, all UN Security Council resolutions need to be addressed and resolved. This includes resolutions on ballistic missiles. Please see the paragraph 9 of SCR 1929 that I have included in my comments above.
These resolutions were approved by all five permanent members, including Russia and Chia, who are negotiating with Iran.
Also, Iranian negotiators have always emphasized the need to have all issues identified at the outset, the issues whose resolution, like the one on ballistic missiles, is required before UN sanctions are lifted. This is a process that needs to be completed for the comprehensive deal.
BTW, these are only ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Ira has said it does not want to build a bomb. And you don't build such expensive missiles to deliver few tons of TNT. So I don't think it's going to be a huge issue.
"BTW, these are only ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Ira has said it does not want to build a bomb. And you don't build such expensive missiles to deliver few tons of TNT. So I don't think it's going to be a huge issue."
I beg to differ: If the ballistic missile program, would be solely developed around the "bomb", Iranian wouldn't put most of R&D (thereby financial) efforst in precision.
Your claim is of the same quality as e.g. former president Bush "proof" that the nuclear program has soley a military aim, since Iran has enough oil and gas to burn for energy.
Regarding "expensive": This missiles are dramatically more cost-effecient that conventional military hardware and THAT is the reason why the missile industry is considered the most important branch. It is the first and not last line of defence and proofed a value for deterrence, which no kind of air force or navy could achieve.
you argument here is flawed! how do you distinguish a nuclear capable missile? From its color etc? I agree with the sentiment that these guys are buying time. Iran should pussyfoot its way by trying to divide and conquer these 5 countries with dissparate interests and loosen them up. some like Germany are keen to get back. for missiles they should push for middle east demarkation like the old START program. they should insist that Israel and arabs should dismantle their missiles and sub-marine delivery systems.
"AND you don't build such expensive missiles to deliver a few tones of TNT"-
IF my memory serves me best ,this sentence is from ONE Netanyahu on the floor of the UN General assembly!!
So, you're saying that Iran's BMs are all nuclear-capable? What evidence have you besides the costs of building such missiles?
Besides, the idea that because there are U.N resolutions calling for Iran to kill its own retaliatory capabilities (her only retaliatory capability in fact!), then Iran should do so, is against the very purpose of entering the negotiations on the Iranian side.
This is what Khamenei meant I guess, that Iran will always be asked to do something which it cannot, even if the nuclear issue is resolved.
God help us if he's right.
It is a big issue as US now masterfully crossing Iran's red lines. Also it is a big issue as a nuclear capable country without a readily available missile capability is toothless.
A sly -B.O.D [beacon of democracy ]
shifting goal posts once again !!.- very sickening indeed !
"Ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons," is not my statement guys. It is from paragraph 9 of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which was approved by all five members including Russia and China. I assume technical discussions will be held to distinguish which type of missiles were intended in the resolution.
However, this post and your comments miss the main point: Iran did sign the 24 November Joint Plan of Action with P5+1. The second paragraph of JPOA, approved by Iran, refers to all UN Security Council resolutions and the necessity for them to be resolved before a final deal can be reached. Those resolutions include one (SCR 1929) prohibiting " any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that states shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”
Now, Iran has signed the JPOA and its reference to ballistic missiles, and you guys are objecting why the issue was raised in Vienna! Send your objections then to the P5+1and Iran who signed the agreement, not this lowly blogger!
You are missing the point here. The UN Security Council approved Resolution 1929 (with Russia and China voting for it too) that prohibits Iran from having "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that states shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”
Iran later signed the 24 November Joint Plan of Action, which includes an agreement to resolve all issues contained in UNSC resolutions, including "ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapon" before a comprehensive agreement could be reached. Iran has agreed to that and now you are telling us why the subject is being discussed at the negotiations.
I remember Ahmadinejad saying the UN Security Council resolutions were torn papers not to be taken seriously. Well, unfortunately those resolutions are now here and need to be resolved, notwithstanding Ahmadinejad's feelings about them. We now know how bad a situation he created for Iran.
This discussion is about UN resolutions which among other things prohibit "ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapon." Iran's friends at UNSC voted for it too. Then Iran agreed in Geneva last November that all UN Security resolutions should be resolved before a comprehensive deal can be reached. The contents of those resolutions will be subject of negotiations in the coming months, including the ballistic missile issue discussed here. And now you object? Why? What does this have to do with beacon of democracy?
because he does not know the meaning of democracy! full stop.
But we all know that Iran won't, under any circumstances, dismantle its huge arsenal of ballistic missiles or halt its progress in this field, because it remains the only deterrence Iran can rely on for the time. As you noted Iran may have its own interpretation of the U.N resolution and will try to sell it to the P5+1. But the part which says "including launches using ballistic missile technology" is very disturbing because it is precise in stating that Iran is not to have ballistic missile technology, which doesn't only mean no ballistic missiles, but also no space program.
I don't know how Iran accepted this part of the deal in Geneva, but I'm guessing they have a way to work around it.
Again, legal issues aside, Khamenei has turned out to be correct in saying that ten new files will be opened by the world powers every time Iran chooses to compromise on one.
The negotiations will fail. More sanctions from the US but the Europeans will not follow the US like thaey have done for the past few years. Some breathing space for Iran.
Next US president (specially if a Republican) will conduct a military strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities pusehd by the Israeli interest groups and pay a much heavier price than Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimate loose the Iranian people.
nader please tell us, what are ""ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons", as opposed to ballistic missiles that cannot?
and how can iran have long range missiles that deter israeli attack but satisfy the terms of the UN resolution? you argue as if russia and china have never been duped by western sponsored UN resolutions before.
The fact remains that Iran hasn't any satellites for a GPS system to accuratly deliver the wareheads. Ballistic missiles are only useful with a nuclear warhead. It is much more cheaper for the Islamic regime to load a van with five tons of explosives than waste Iran's money building a system that delivers only one ton of explosives without GPS satellite control. Lets just say Iran has 300 of these missiles which translates into 300 tons of explosives. US droped thousands of tons on Iraq and Afghanistan with accuracy. US may not be able to build "democracy" but they can easily destroy when the time comes. Bottom line is ballistic missiles need nuclear warheads for it to be effective. Unless of course the regime is lying about their "nuclear program for peaceful purposes".
To all IRI Fanboys and Groupies sitting in your dark basements. Iran has no Geostationary satellites for GPS control.
Definitely bad news... it basically means that the P5+1 is asking Iran to gradually downgrade, if not outright abandon its right in maintaining and improving the (only) pillar of its main strategic deterrence force that is its arsenal of MRBMs and SRBMs, while at the same time being unwilling to offer them the right at acquiring a viable alternative force to defend its sovereignty in an effective way, such as provisions to buy and/or co-produce next generation fighter aircraft with third parties such as China or Russia. A daring move and an expected development on the part of the USA in particular, wary of the growing effectiveness and precision-strike capability of the Iranian missile force and the threat it poses on American forces surrounding Iran in bases all around the country, and the implied projected losses it would incur in case of a military aggression on Iran, not to mention the USN's 5th fleet assets which arae highly vulnerable to missile fire raining on their Bahrain maritime headquarters, where their forces buildup continue to this day and is directly aimed at containing Iran's military strength. If not sure, see Chuck Hagel's speech poste on this blog.
The very inception of Iran's military self-sufficiency program takes its roots back to the injustice of an international embargo it had to endure while being attack by internationally supported Iraq, and was only logical as a strategic decision from 1991 onward. Pushing ahead with this particular demand would prove both irresponsible and ludicrous, and yet as another instance of double standards towards its Israeli competitor being a signatory of zero treaties and still being shielded both from the issue being merely brought up at the UN cabinet meeting, let alone any kind of inspection at its nuclear sites such as Dimona, and will give a lot of weight to hardliners trying to portray western negotiators as hypocritical and vicious players attempting to use the pretext of the nuclear case to force Iran into relinquishing its right at industrial level self-defense capability, part of its sovereignty like any other nation, giving them a pretty valid case. A sad and dangerous development indeed...
A possible solution would be to add special provisions to the JPOA to allow Iran in continuing part of its missile development program short of acquiring the means to produce ICBMs, which can be differentiated from other categories missiles in terms of boosters, material and warhead, and require another class of industrial machine tools and infrastructure altogether, notably in terms of missile diameter that changes the requirements in manufacturing hardware altogether and hence renders possible the establishment of specific safeguards and watchdogs.
The alternative is depriving Iran from its only credible deterrent force and literally render it naked in the face of potential foreign aggression from a capable regional foe such as Israel (to name only the country of which the Prime Minister has been making open threats of attack on a monthly basis for years now) which won't have to worry about Iran's retaliatory aptitude in a second strike scenario anymore, a very dangerous evolution in the tense context of the ME's geopolitical situation.
You probably need to address that questions to the Americans, Chinese, Russians and Europeans who have approved the language in the UN Security Council Resolution 1929. My guess is they will be able to come up with a definition of the types of missile that would also satisfy Iran.
Piruz Mollazadeh, the issue is not Iran's arsenal of ballistic missiles, but development of missiles used for nuclear weapon. The Americans, the Chinese, the Russians and the Europeans who have approved UN Security Council's resolution with hopefully come to terms with Iran on which types of missiles were intended, probably along suggestion above by –A.
sir there is nothing like a UN security resolution! in fact the UN is there on paper ! the UNSC is nothing but a toothless bulldog ,i say this and i can prove that the US is abusing its position as the sole superpower on the globe by driving the UN in circles.
@-IF the US, per chance changes its policy and decides to trade with IRAN,you would see the UK, FRANCE and all trooping to Tehran competing for a date with the LEADER.
@ -THE world is watching keenly the circus of hypocrisy going on between the UN and IRAN on the issue of nuclear program and everyone is waiting for a western official to speak something about ISRAELS legal nuclear program and why it is legal in the eyes of the UN!.
ONCE AGAIN long live -the Persian sage of our time Leader Khamenei and death! to hypocrisy!!.
When UN Resolution 242 is no longer ignored then the UN resolutions can become more of a legal precedence to be followed by all nations. Cannot cherry pick which UN resolutions to enforce.
UN security Council 242 was also voted by everyone on the council, including US. The Vote was: For: 15 — Abs. 0 — Against: 0. And has been ignored for more than 45 years!
U always refer to UN I think Iran should just withdraw from UN altogether unless they give a seat to Iran in security consul.
After thinking it through a bit, I find the remaining problem in the end being the degree of tacit tolerance agreed on the range of missiles to discuss : Indeed, if the west is serious about settling the nuclear dispute once and for all, it will accept to make de-facto concessions as to which type of missile in Iran's arsenal can be morally concerned by the JPOA on possible nuclear delivery vectors, since, let's be honest with ourselves, basically any solid-fueled missile in the MRBM class such as the Sejil-2 or the Ghadr-F series, which constitutes the backbone of Iran's strategic force, can decently be used to deploy nuclear warheads, it has been stated legitimately by many experts and commentators over the years.. so one shouldn't stick to the purely technical side of the talks to base its final decision and move forward on its demand, otherwise these talks will indeed be headed nowhere and will make Khamenei and the horde of angry hardliners in the Majlis right.
That is where the notion of meaningful dialogue and acceptance of a compromise will reach their full significance for both sides.
Either the Security Council keeps on asking the full dismantlement of the Iranian ballistic program and at the same time allows Iran in sealing concrete joint development and co-production agreements with allied countries capable of helping it to reach a decent level of prowess in its military aircraft manufacturing processes to re-create a decent air-force, or they can forget about their demand, which will amount to asking Iran to physically hand over the keys of its defense doctrine to neighboring foreign powers eager to militarily intervene against them, a prospect obviously no Iranian will ever accept, that in fact no national will ever accept regarding its country obviously since it wouldn't make any sense to be devoid of an effective means of self-defense for such a populous country, and so notwithstanding its political obedience.
Anon 11:09 AM : "To all IRI Fanboys and Groupies sitting in your dark basements. Iran has no Geostationary satellites for GPS control."
1 - No need to be a IRI fanboy or a groupie to be willing to support the country on issue involving its sovereignty, including the military. I am opposed to the IRI myself, but still I resent westerner attempts at reducing its ability to defend itself in the future.
2 - You are wrong about the GPS : Iran has been on a downhill path on its research and development program for sending experimental positioning satellites in geostationary orbit, and has several launches planned by ISA for 2015-16 and additionally has recently unveiled land based positioning centers also used by Russia, China and the US to augment course correction capabilities of their missiles in range.
3 - You do not need to have GPS to achieve metric precision for SRBMs and MRBMs, indeed laser gyroscopes coupled with terminal optical guidance (both of which Iran has) can reach less than 50 meters CEP, enough for military use at the tactical level. Iran has demonstrated such ability with its Fateh-110s and Khalij Fars missiles. Russian Iskander and Scud-D missile use photographic correlation of their targets by comparing what they "see" and multi-angle picture of the target pre-entered in their guidance package. They achieve terminal precision too, and are ballistic missiles as well used with conventional warheads. Same goes for Chinese DF series of these "theater ballistic missiles" of which Iranian programs are known to have benefited from. Do some research next time before bashing people.
Conslusion : you're dead wrong in your assertion about us supposed fans of the regime regarding our position towards the issue. Your rationale on the exclusive need for a nuclear warhead for ballistic missile is only valid regarding assets in the Intercontinental range, of which Iran has NONE, at least officially, and has time and again publicly stated it has no need of to pound its main regional enemies' infrastructure, and so with reason, since the latter are all in range of their current MRBM arsenal if we stick to the ME.
The US and Europe know full well what they are doing in pushing for such disarmament scheme from Iran.
haha, very funny, i'll write a letter to them, although an email might be more promptly replied. in the meantime the negotiations will probably fail, in such a way as to present Obama as having negotiated in good faith, and the Iranians as lying middle-eastern devils. The sanctions regime will be splintered with westerners on one side and the rest of the world on the other. Then Hillary Clinton gets voted in 2016 and all hell breaks out.
The Iranian government has signed JPOA, accepting to work on resolving the four UNSC resolutions. Are you saying the government should not have signed off on that document?
I've never been a big UN fan. But we cannot talk with both sides of our mouths; Supporting Iran's decision to sign JPOA and saying at the same time that relevant UN resolutions referred to in JPOA mean nothing! At least poor Ahmadinejad was saying that before the government signed off on JPOA.
BTW, the Persian Sage also signed off on JPOA.
Me sitting at home reading all these comments wonder what if one day Iran was to be attacked by anyone else than U.S, what then. Having no viable sort of defending the country just so it suits the west. Do we really can afford this?
Iran should loudly and clearly states so that there won't be any mistranslation ,that these talks are about the level of enrichment's stop line and nothing else. As for U.N resolution Iran will deal with it just like other countries have done, to ignore it .
Totally agree with Gifted one 2:38 PM on such worst case scenario, despite my willingness at seeing more of a compromising spirit on both end of the negotiating table despite that looming setback...
There can be only one of two outcomes here, one of which I do not want to think about. Would it be staunch Israeli supporting, anti-Iran Dem war-hawk such as Clinton or any Republican candidate getting elected as next president, clocks are ticking, and fast. And even that is assuming Obama doesn't fall for warmongering Congress and AIPAC-funded Dems taking advantage of the potentially disastrous breakdown of the nuclear talks coupled with the same occurrence in the hardliner section of the Majlis silencing Rouhani's Detente tone, and replace it with a toned up resurgence of fiery "Ahmadninejadesque" rhetoric on the part of Iran's political class... there is danger hovering over Iranian citizens' heads again, I definitely didn't miss such feeling a bit since a couple month ago :(
Nader UskowiFebruary 19, 2014 at 6:21 AM
The resolutions were there purely to put pressure on iran,they also demand that iran must halt all enrichment,irans response to these resolutions and their demands was to ignore them,as far as iran was concerned the iaea had no legal basis for sending irans file to the security councel in the first place.The un resolutions are not the basis for the negotiations and when it comes down to it the resolutions will have virtually nothing to do with any final deal.The truth is that any missile can potentially carry a nuclear warhead.The whole idea of irans missiles being included in the negotiations is a non starter as the iranians themselves have made very clear,if the us is serious about a deal it wont try and pursue this,but then the big question was always whether the us serious about any negotiations in the first place
AnonymousFebruary 19, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Exactly,these resolutions are not the basis for any potential deal as they amount to little more than demands for iran to halt its entire nuclear program,in the event of any deal these resolutions will either be repealed or continued to be ignored
It is very miserable kind of comments from most of you.
Even BMA has not too much clues with his argumentation against his, pretended "interlocutors".
The most important issue, which will determine Islamic Republic's outcome, is the influence of the world geo-political situation and not the possesion of balistic missiles.
Of course new Iranian air defences will improve Iran's survivalability, but it is the geo-political situation, that always will provide and determine, more than 50% Iran's chances for its survivalability in the next two decades..
I understand why the "authors" avoid those inconvenient issues in order to streamline "discussions" according to a certain scenario.
I prefer that Iran not withdraw and, hopefully, that Iran not be expelled,
@ 7:40 PM,
We will be more than happy to publish your analysis of "geo-political" situation facing Iran.
As I said earlier,Iran has no GPS satiellite system in place and hasn't the technology for such systems yet. The case remains that a missile with a one ton warhead is as good as useless when you have only a few hundred of them which translates into a few hundred tons of TNT.
Israel,Iran's supposed enemy has nuclear warheads each with thousands of tons of TNT and the US can deliver thousands of tons of conventional TNT to its targets. This stupid game by the regime is leading Iran nowhere but ruin. Best defence is to open up relations with the world and make friends,not create supposed enemies to justify the regime to attack the real opposition within Iran.
I have read some American reports about the (still inaccuracy) of the Iranian long range misiles claiming an inaccuracy of 500 - 1000 meters (Even the newer versions) and a destruction zone of 50-80 meters which according to the Americans (and due to their limited numbers in a military conflict lasting over few weeks) will not be of any credible military threat to the majority of the installations in the area.
Do you agree?
AnonymousFebruary 20, 2014 at 6:37 AM
I`d take any american reports with a very large grain of salt,irans short range missiles have an accuracy measured in meters,its long range ones have an accuracy measured in the tens of meters,when you include cluster munition warheads and salvo firing into the mix then the accuracy and performance of these weapons becomes pretty good for destroying most military and civilian targets,in addition most of the us military infrastructure in the region is within range of irans short ranged missiles like the fateh-110 and irans arsenal of these is likely in the hundreds if not larger,so irans missile arsenal poses a very credible threat to the us military's infrastructure in the region
Anon 11:01 PM,
"This stupid game by the regime is leading Iran nowhere but ruin. Best defense is to open up relations with the world and make friends,not create supposed enemies to justify the regime to attack the real opposition within Iran." ==> I absolutely agree word by word here, don't get me wrong on my political position towards the brutal and corrupt regime, as opposed to my views on the military balance of power between Iran and its neighbors, two completely separate issues for me.
Where I disagree is the technical point you make on ballistic missiles, of which Iran as between 800 to 1000 depending on publicly available dedicated literature. The destructive power of a one-ton warhead crushing at its target at hyper-sonic speeds (a legacy Scud missile reaches about mach 6 and newer solid-fueled missiles reach mach 10-12) is many folds more than a free-fall one-ton bomb dropped by aircraft sliding into it after a short flight. To illustrate this to you : the Chinese arsenal of DongFeng theater ballistic missiles deployed around Taiwan are not more than a couple hundred and are considered enough to cripple all critical infrastructure, civilian and military in such a small piece of land with little to no strategic depth and most targets and population centers concentrated in a limited space, just like a geographically small country such as Israel.
Plus, you don't need 10,000 bombs to shatter the enemy's infrastructure : the US used no more than 300 tomahawks missiles (half the payload of a ballistic missile though more accurate) to destroy every of Baghdad's essential targets in 2003, no plane was ever sent to do the bombing job prior to the invasion in 2003, precision strikes for close air support during combat occurred after,during the tactical phase of the war. And barely more than 100 for the whole of the Lybia operation 2 years ago.
And as I said above : GPS is not the sole way of directing missiles with a 50-100m precision, enough when dealing with large targets such as airbases, X-band ABM Radars, or industrial targets like water treatment and electrical plants, refineries, bridges, or communication centers. Iran uses modern Chinese-derived laser gyroscopes for inertial guidance in the target zone, and optical guidance for terminal approach. Former CIA head Leon Panetta signed a declassified report in 2012 on growing Iranian missile capability underlining just that, I am not inventing anything.
If it was such of a weak deterrent as you say, you would see either the US of specially Israel attacking the country 10 times already today, and Iran would be just another Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia , Sudan, or Palestinian Territories to name only them. All countries that had no credible means of counter-attacking. 1,6 million km² Iran is another ballpark altogether and they know it.
And I am not even mentioning its growing abilities in air-defense posing a more and more credible threat to non-stealth fighters such as Israel's limited number of F-16I being able to cross deep into Iranian airspace. In that regards, two attempts at greenlighting a strike by Netanyahu in 2011 were stopped at the last minute by the military.
On a final note, though Iran is opening up to the western world in general (which is a blessing for its economy and thus people), it will not be initiating any form of rapprochement effort towards its main regional competitors fighting for dominance in the ME like Saudi Arabia and Israel. Indeed, since the Interim Accord, the latter were the most vocal in their opposition to such a negotiated deal, and even the current Iranian gov't has made it clear that these countries do not count among the Detente policies they're undertaking. There is simply not enough space for these 3 countries to reach common ground, their geopolitical objectives naturally go against each other unfortunately since none is willing to sit back and become more humble on its ambitions in a future Middle East...
Hello dear K, been a while.
well to answer you I'd second what was posted just above by anon 11:29 by adding that if it were to be true you wouldn't see the US putting such gigantic resources on deploying dozens of ABM systems all over the parts of GCC countries deemed vulnerable to Iranian missile attack or Israel putting so much effort at developing their integrated ABM system the Arrow-3. Other reports state that Iran's missiles have gained significantly over the last decade to the point were they can cripple vital industrial-sized targets such as runways , petrochemical infrastructures or electrical and water-treatment plants, as I posted above on this page. Progress was recorded by the CIA particularly between 2006 and 2012. I have read reports dating back to 2008 still saying that Iran's missile are inaccurate, but they contrast with competing , more recent reports saying the contrary. Iran's Khalij-Fars or Fateh-110 SRBMs are in the order of 50-100m CEP, as demonstrated in Syria by several sources, and longer range MRBMs such as the Sejil-2 or Ghadr-F are estimated at 300m by most open-source defense literature, enough to deal with any of the type of aforementioned targets. (the 1000m higher bound matches the inaccuracy of more legacy Scuds and would consider there has been close to zero progress since then on the part of Iranian defense research despite constant input from North Korean, Chinese and Russian entities so I highly doubt it) Now of course, they won't have the same military power as metric-precision, GPS-guided cruise missile like American Tomahawks able to perform pin-point strike on individual targets by Iran doesn't need that against its potential enemies.
In the end however, I'll concede so long as there isn't a real conflict were these weapons are actually going to be employed (and I kind of prefer that it remains that way to be honest...), no one , expert or enthusiast will be able to evaluate their real effectiveness with reasonable precision, it will remain all talk and estimations. The only point giving us a clue about its perceived potential would be the mere fact that they have proved as an effective deterrent for any of Iran's most probable aggressors in its regional disputes so far, despite a great temptation from countries such as the US or Israel/GCC to go it alone against it and deal with the nuclear sites once and for all.
Author at 7:40 PM
I have several times attempted to post my comments in that and related matters and they were blocked by so far.
Regarding that geo-political situation, at present, the events in the world unfold themselves in a favor of the Islamic Republic and for her better survivalability........
Thank you very much. Your coments are in line with my own understanding of the issue. I aprticularly agree (and just like you hope that we don't have to find out as I feel the consequences for Iran will still be devastating if the US pushed by the Israeli lobby feels that the hevay price to be paid to nuetralize "the Iranian threat" is still better than a nuclear armed Iran) with the last part of your comment.
On another note, I post the link below (In case you have not read it already) regarding my questions to General Basrawi who has started to visit this blog about French pilots participating in combat missions during the war with Iraq. (His comments are very honest and quite interesting as an eye witness) regarding this topic.
Looking forward to read more of your posts here.
Thanks again for following my posts and analysis in such a positive way K, it is always good to find common ground with other commentators such as yourself on this blog, I take it as an invigorating answer to my efforts in putting together my opinions.
Yes, I actually had the occasion of exchanging ideas with Mr. Basrawi a few months ago both on the context that ultimately led to the start of the Iran-Iraq war, and the military situation on the ground throughout the different phases of the conflict. And in all honesty, as much as I agree with and respect his positions on the geopolitical context facing Iran today globally, and the inherently very informative and instructive nature of his accounts of military encounters between the two air-forces at the time, I used to personally find his assertions on Iran's military and political situation pretty odd if not historically wrong in several key areas, and didn't make it a secret to him by expressing my counter-argumentation in return on every subject, which in the end turned the debate into a somewhat heated exchange unfortunately.
You can find the original exchange here http://www.uskowioniran.com/2013/11/sayyad-2-surface-to-air-missile-serial.html?q=sayyad.
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