By: Reza Kahlili
Iran has the technological ability to target any point on the planet with an intercontinental ballistic missile should it choose to, according to Brig. Gen. Seyyed Mehdi Farahi of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, who is the director of the Iranian air and space industries.
A recent editorial in the Iranian Keyhan newspaper, the mouthpiece of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reports on Iran’s ballistic missile technology with a headline “Iran Now Exports Ballistic Missiles.”
In the report the general brags about Iran’s military might and its ability to simultaneously launch 14 or more rockets with extreme precision. He says that the export of ballistic missiles and the progress in Iran’s space program are signs that Iran has achieved the highest levels of military and technological excellence.
Despite international sanctions, the general boasts:
“Today, I proudly announce that an Islamic Iran is not only capable of exporting industrial and defense products but also technology and defense technology as well.”
Military experts and analysts who cover Iranian military and defense issues have acknowledged that Iran does in fact have the strongest ballistic missile program in the Middle East and that the low costs of the missiles has in fact taken the ballistic missile market out of the West’s hands, the editorial says.
The newspaper cites recent testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee by the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess. “Iran’s progress in building ballistic missiles is noticeable, and with the launch of satellites to space it became clear that Iran has succeeded in building intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the general testified, according to the paper. The successful launch of the Rasad satellite to space drew the attention of observers and foreign counterparts, the general reportedly testified.
The Safir missile is capable of transporting a satellite into space and indeed a ballistic missile that can reach beyond the earth’s gravity into orbit. The missile has twice been vertically shot over the earth’s atmosphere, the editorial says, “but if one day Iran decides that this missile should be shot parallel to the earth’s orbit, the missile will actually be transformed into an intercontinental ballistic missile (that) has the capability to destroy targets in other continents.”
“In other words,” the editorial concludes, “the fact that Iran currently possesses technology that can put satellites into orbit means that Iran has also obtained intercontinental ballistic missiles with solid fuel capabilities and that at any moment, this technology can be put to military use.”
Iranian officials recently announced that they have successfully developed the necessary technology to build and launch satellites designed to travel in an orbit 21,750 miles above the earth’s equator — and that, in the next few months, they will launch another rocket into space, this time carrying a monkey with a payload of 330 kilograms..
According to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a nuclear weapons expert who has served in the CIA, “Historically, if a nation could put a large payload (hundreds of kilograms) into orbit, that has been treated as a milestone signifying that they have a military ICBM capability. We appear to have changed this rule for Iran’s space program. If Western analysts today applied the same standards to Iran that we have applied to the USSR and China in the past, we would conclude that Iran already has an ICBM capability.
“It seems that the Obama administration is unwilling to acknowledge this, perhaps not seeing it in its best interest, alluding that it still has time to negotiate,” says Pry, who has also served with the EMP Commission and is now president of EMPact America.
The radicals ruling Iran have now passed a major threshold in both their nuclear and missile programs. Barring any military action, which seems unlikely, there is no stopping them.
We only have ourselves to blame as it is now certain that the Jihadists in Tehran will have nuclear bombs with the delivery system to target any country on the planet. Though the West relies on the policy of Mutual Assured Destruction, it will find how wrong this policy is with Iran.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. He is the author of A Time to Betray, a book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, published by Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster, April 2010. A Time to Betray was the winner of the 2010 National Best Book Award, and the 2011 International Best Book Award.