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Thread: Iran Tests Missiles, Vows To Hit Back If Attacked

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    Iran Tests Missiles, Vows To Hit Back If Attacked

    Iran tests missiles, vows to hit back if attacked

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Iran_t..._hit_0709.html

    (Gold9472: And I wouldn't blame them.)

    7/9/2008

    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday and warned the United States and Israel it was ready to retaliate if they attacked the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear projects.

    Washington, which says Iran seeks atomic bombs, told Tehran to halt further tests if it wanted the world to trust it. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, insists its nuclear program aims only at generating electricity.

    Rising tensions have rattled financial markets. Oil prices, which had slipped from record highs, rebounded about $2 a barrel after Wednesday's tests.

    Speculation that Israel could strike Iran has mounted since its air force staged an exercise last month that U.S. officials said involved 100 aircraft. The United States has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear row.

    "We warn the enemies who intend to threaten us with military exercises and empty psychological operations that our hand will always be on the trigger and our missiles will always be ready to launch," Revolutionary Guards air force commander Hossein Salami said, according to ISNA news agency.

    In televised comments, he said thousands of missiles were ready to be fired at "specific and pre-determined targets." Missiles were shown soaring from desert launchpads, leaving long vapor trails.

    Iran should "refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

    MISSILE SHIELD
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested the tests justified an American missile shield plan with bases in eastern Europe that Russia strongly opposes.

    "Those who say that there is no Iranian threat against which to be building missile defenses perhaps ought to talk to the Iranians about ... the range of the missiles that they test fired," Rice said in Bulgaria.

    Russia, which has resisted U.S. calls for tougher U.N. sanctions on Iran, nevertheless says it shares concerns about Tehran's nuclear program. It responded to an Iranian rocket test in February by questioning Tehran's motives.

    Italy joined criticism of Iran's latest missile tests.

    "These are very dangerous missiles -- that's why the international community and not just Israel has an interest in blocking this escalation in a definitive way," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in Ramallah, in the West Bank.

    Iran's State Press TV said the "highly advanced" missiles tested by the Guards included a "new" Shahab 3 missile, which officials have said could reach targets 2,000 km (1,250 miles) away. Iran has said Israel and U.S. bases are in its range.

    Some U.S. facilities across the Gulf are little more than 200 km from Iran's coast, putting them well within range of Iranian missiles, even if analysts question their accuracy.

    The United States also has forces based in nearby Arab states, including Qatar and Bahrain, along with ships patrolling the Gulf waterway.

    Iran has said U.S. forces are vulnerable because of their presence in two of its neighbors, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Israel, believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power, has vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb.

    "Israel does not threaten Iran, but the Iranian nuclear program, combined with their aggressive ballistic missile program, is a matter of grave concern," Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said after the tests.

    Leaders of the Group of Eight rich countries voiced serious concern on Tuesday at the proliferation risks posed by Iran's nuclear work. World powers have offered Iran incentives if it will suspend uranium enrichment. Tehran has rejected the demand.

    Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, conduit for about 40 percent of globally traded oil, if it is attacked. The U.S. military says it will prevent any such action.

    The war of words heightens risks that a misunderstanding or a minor clash in the Gulf, for instance, could get out of hand.

    Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic ties for almost 30 years and have few avenues for direct communications.

    An aide to Iran's Supreme Leader was quoted as saying on Tuesday that his country would hit Tel Aviv, U.S. shipping in the Gulf and U.S. interests in reply to any military strike.

    Analysts say Iran's military technology often involves improving weaponry originating in China and North Korea.

    "They are some way away yet from threatening Israel or U.S. bases," said London-based independent military analyst Paul Beaver, adding guidance systems over longer ranges needed work. But he said the missile program was still "pretty advanced."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
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    Iran tests missiles, heightening tension with West

    http://www.reuters.com/article/lates.../idUSLYO945240

    By Zahra Hosseinian and Alistair Lyon

    TEHRAN, July 9 (Reuters) - Iran test-fired nine missiles on Wednesday and warned the United States and Israel it was ready to retaliate for any attack over its disputed nuclear projects.

    Washington, which says Iran seeks atomic bombs, told Tehran to halt further tests. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, says its nuclear programme is only for electricity.

    Iran later announced night-time missile manoeuvres, and its missile tests rattled oil markets, helping crude prices to rebound about $2 a barrel after recent falls.

    Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill last month. U.S. leaders have not ruled out military options if diplomacy fails to end the nuclear row.

    Revolutionary Guards air force commander Hossein Salami said in televised comments that thousands of missiles were ready to be fired at "pre-determined targets." Missiles were shown soaring from desert launchpads, leaving long vapour trails.

    "We warn the enemies who intend to threaten us with military exercises and empty psychological operations that our hand will always be on the trigger and our missiles will always be ready to launch," he said, according to ISNA news agency.

    "Another night missile manoeuvre is taking place right now," Salami told state television later. He did not elaborate.

    The White House told Iran to "refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world."

    But the United States gave no hint to leaders of a Group of Eight rich nations meeting in Japan this week that it planned to attack Iran, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

    In Washington, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, asked if the United States was any closer to confrontation with Iran, told reporters: "No, I don't think so."

    Another senior U.S. official said the Bush administration had not exhausted the use of diplomacy to try to convince Iran to rein in its nuclear programme.

    "We view force as an option that is on the table but a last resort," U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, William Burns, said.

    Burns also told a Congressional panel that Iran had made only "modest" progress in its nuclear programme because of U.N. sanctions, while warning Tehran that it would pay dearly if it pursued its current course.

    "It is apparent that Iran has not yet perfected enrichment (of uranium), and as a direct result of U.N. sanctions, Iran's ability to procure technology or items of significance to its missile programs ... is being impaired," he said.

    MISSILE SHIELD
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested the tests justified U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield with bases in eastern Europe, which Russia firmly opposes.

    "Those who say that there is no Iranian threat against which to be building missile defences perhaps ought to talk to the Iranians about ... the range of the missiles that they test fired," Rice said in Bulgaria.

    France, Germany and Italy joined criticism of Iran.

    "These are very dangerous missiles -- that's why the international community and not just Israel has an interest in blocking this escalation in a definitive way," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in Ramallah, in the West Bank.

    France said the tests heightened international concerns, while Germany voiced regret that Iran had responded to an offer of incentives by world powers with a "gesture of ill will."

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called Iran a "great threat" and called for cooperation with allies to tighten pressure on Tehran. His Republican opponent John McCain voiced support for the missile shield to counter Iran.

    Iran's State Press TV said the "highly advanced" missiles tested by the Guards included a "new" Shahab 3 missile, which officials have said could reach targets 2,000 km (1,250 miles) away. Iran has said Israel and U.S. bases are in its range.

    Some U.S. facilities across the Gulf are little more than 200 km from Iran's coast. The United States has air and naval bases in nearby Arab states, including Qatar and Bahrain.

    Iran has said U.S. forces are vulnerable because of their presence in two neighbouring countries, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Israel, believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power, has vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb.

    "Israel does not threaten Iran, but the Iranian nuclear programme, combined with their aggressive ballistic missile programme, is a matter of grave concern," Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said after the tests.

    World powers have offered Iran incentives if it suspends uranium enrichment, a demand rejected by Tehran.

    Commenting on Iran's response last week to that offer, Burns told the Congressional panel: "Iran is interested in trying to find common ground ... We will see if the Iranians are serious."

    Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, conduit for about 40 percent of globally traded oil, if it is attacked. The U.S. military says it will prevent any such action.

    The war of words heightens risks that a misunderstanding or a minor clash in the Gulf, for instance, could get out of hand.

    Analysts say Iran's military technology often involves improving weaponry originating in China and North Korea.

    "They are some way away yet from threatening Israel or U.S. bases," said London-based independent analyst Paul Beaver, noting that guidance systems over longer ranges needed work.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #3
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    Iran missile test 'provocative'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7498214.stm

    7/9/2008

    The US and Israel have condemned Iran after it test-fired a long range missile capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

    Iran state media said nine missiles had been fired in total, including a new Shahab-3, with a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles).

    Tehran has tested the missile before, but the latest launch comes amid rising tensions with the US and Israel over the country's nuclear programme.

    A senior US state department official said the launch was "provocative".

    Wednesday's early morning test at a remote desert site sent oil prices climbing.

    Brig Gen Hoseyn Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' air force, said: "Our missiles are ready for shooting at any place and any time, quickly and with accuracy."

    Western leaders have been attempting to convince Tehran to stop enriching uranium, which it has continued doing despite sanctions from the UN and the European Union, insisting its nuclear programme is purely for civilian energy.

    US Under-secretary of State William Burns said that thanks to UN sanctions, Iran's real progress on its nuclear programme had been "modest", despite its sabre-rattling.

    "We view force as an option that is on the table but a last resort," he told a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

    The launches were intended to deter any Israeli or US strike against Tehran's nuclear installations, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

    Our correspondent - who is in Israel - says the country has a fully operational anti-ballistic missile system, which Israeli military experts believe can counter any Iranian threat.

    In the Israeli parliament, Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim said: "I suggest Israel will not talk, and Israel should prepare itself to do what is needed to do."

    The White House and both American presidential candidates also condemned the Iranian test.

    Describing Iran as a "great threat", the Democratic challenger, Barack Obama, called for tougher sanctions while his Republican rival, John McCain, said the test demonstrated the need for effective missile defence.

    The French, German and Italian governments expressed concern at the missile tests.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, centre, visits the Natanz uranium enrichment facility on 8 April 2008

    On Monday, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader said it would retaliate against any military attack by hitting the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

    Other commanders have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a large part of the world's oil flows, and to target the US and its allies around the world if Iran comes under attack.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has insisted his country had no intention of attacking Israel.

    Speaking on a visit to Malaysia on Tuesday, Mr Ahmadinejad dismissed the possibility of an attack by the US or Israel as a "joke".
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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