Military analysts say price of war with Iran could be severe

Published: February 11, 2006

A chilling new look at Iran's military capability in response to a U.S. strike will appear in Sunday editions of The Boston Globe, RAW STORY has learned. Headlined "IRAN IS CALLED CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING STRIKES," the piece provides a sobering analysis of Iran's capabilities.

"Iran is prepared to launch attacks using long-range missiles, secret commando units, and terrorist allies planted around the globe in retaliation for any strike on the country's nuclear facilities, according to new US intelligence assessments and military specialists," the Globe's Brian Bender writes. Excerpts:

"US intelligence officials have said that Iran, which fought a war with Iraq from 1980-1988 that cost one million lives, still has the most threatening armed forces in the immediate region. Its combined ground forces are estimated at about 800,000 personnel. The CIA has concluded that Iran is steadily enhancing its ability to project its military power, including by threatening international shipping.

"A major worry: newly acquired long-range missiles. Obtained with the assistance of North Korea, the Shahab 3 could strike Israel and perhaps even hit the periphery of Europe, according to a recent report by the Pentagon's National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

"The missiles could also be tipped with chemical warheads and threaten US military bases in the region. Iran is believed to have at least 20 launchers that are frequently moved around the country to avoid detection.

"Iran has an extensive missile-development program and has received support from entities in Russia, China, and North Korea," the Pentagon report said, estimating their range to be at least 800 miles.

"New missile designs under development could travel 400 miles farther, it said, while Iran purchased at least a dozen X-55 cruise missiles from Ukraine in 2001 that are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as far as Italy."