Iran Commander: We Have Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

Iran Commander: We Have Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

Reza Khalili

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
.

Iran’s secret pipeline into the U.S.

Iran’s secret pipeline into the U.S.

August 18, 2010 – 5:02am

AP: a5bae176-185b-4b86-a2c3-55708af8f7cd

FILE — In a Feb. 11, 2008 file photo Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks during a rally to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution at Azadi Square, Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian/file)

J.J. Green, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Iran Air 744 is a bimonthly flight that originates in Tehran and flies directly to Caracas with periodic stops in Beirut and Damascus. The maiden flight was Feb. 2, 2007.

The mere existence of the flight was a significant concern for U.S. intelligence officials, but now a broader concern is who and what are aboard the flights.

“If you [a member of the public] tried to book yourself a seat on this flight and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a week before, a month before, six months before — you’ll never find a place to sit there,” says Offer Baruch, a former Israeli Shin Bet agent.

Baruch, now vice president of operations for International Shield, a security firm in Texas, says the plane is reserved for Iranian agents, including “Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and other intelligence personnel.”

Current and former U.S. intelligence official fear the flight is a shadowy way to move people and weapons to locations in Latin America that can be used as staging points for retaliatory attacks against the U.S. or its interests in the event Iranian nuclear sites are struck by U.S. or Israeli military forces.

“My understanding is that this flight not only goes from Caracas to Damascus to Tehran perhaps twice a month, but it also occasionally makes stops in Lebanon as well, and the passengers on that flight are not processed through normal Venezuelan immigrations or customs. They are processed separately when they come into the country,” says Peter Brookes, senior fellow for National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

The 16-hour flight typically leaves Tehran and stops at Damascus International Airport (DAM), which is Syria’s busiest. In 2009, almost 4.5 million passengers used the airport.

After a 90-minute layover, the flight continues the remaining 14 hours to Venezuela’s Caracas Maiquetía International Airport (CCS). Upon arrival, the plane is met by special Venezuelan forces and sequestered from other arrivals.

“It says that something secretive or clandestine is going on that they don’t want the international community to know about,” says Brookes, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs and CIA employee.

“The fact that there is a flight is of course of interest, but the fact that not anybody can gain access to this flight or buy a ticket for that flight is of particular curiosity and should be of concern to the United States.”

In addition to speculation about who is aboard, there are significant concerns that the Boeing 747SP airplane might be transporting uranium to Tehran on the return flight. The U.S. government has enacted strong sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program and there are worries the flight might provide an opportunity to skirt the embargo against materials that might be used for the program.

“Clearly, Iran has been a sponsor of Hezbollah, and clearly Hezbollah profits from this relationship,” former CIA Director Michael J. Hayden says.

“It would be too much to say that Hezbollah is a puppet of the Iranian state, but one way of looking at this relationship is that the Iranian state might rely on Hezbollah as a strategic weapon — its weapon for global reach.”

Hayden, now a principle in the Chertoff Group, says the CIA has been aware of the activities for several years.

“Fundamentally, the thing that first and very solidly caught our attention at the Agency was the inauguration of direct air flight between the two capitals. Here was a conduit that people could travel from Iran into the Western Hemisphere, into Latin America in a way that would be very difficult for American intelligence services to detect and to understand.

“Right there at that very simple level, just the direct flight is something that we would be and should be concerned about.”

Brookes says the passengers “may not even need visas because they are special passengers. That obviously is of concern because there is no transparency about who the people are coming in and going out of the country. Of course there is concern that these folks may be Iranian special agents.”

Beyond concerns about Iranian intelligence flooding the west, Brookes and others worry that Iranian special advisers are schooling the Venezuelan military and may be involved in plans to move Iranian agents inside the U.S.

“It’s certainly a possibility. Would the agents that come into Venezuela be able to find their way to the United States? That’s certainly possible. You see the drug smugglers today using submersibles to move drugs to the U.S. and other parts of the Caribbean which is a real challenge. So why wouldn’t they be able to do the same with persons?”

A U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity says there are concerns about the relationships between Iran and Venezuela, but you have to keep it in perspective.

“The problems both countries face internally, and their own regional priorities closer to home, limit the amount of trouble they can cause together. But it’s something you have to watch, whether it’s the potential for government-to-government mischief or the possibility of something involving Iran’s friends like Hezbollah.

“You can ask what a self-proclaimed Bolivarian socialist has in common with a bunch of theocratic thugs in Iran. The answer is ‘not much,’ beyond a taste for repression and a shared desire to make life difficult for the United States and its allies.”

On Friday, the next flight is expected to take off. While U.S. intelligence may be able to track the flight, there appears to be little more they can legally do to determine what or who is on board.

“American intelligence services have a lot of things on their plate. The fact that I can tell you that we’re really interested in that direct flight tells you that it was on our scope — something that we are sensitive to,” Hayden says. “Are we doing enough about it? I would have to say ‘no,’ because it’s a very challenging menu that American intelligence has to deal with.”

In a statement, the State Department says, “Nations have the right to enter into cooperative relationships with other nations.”

Neither the Iranian nor the Venezuelan governments responded to request for reaction before this article was published.

You can follow WTOP’s J.J. Green on Twitter.

Brittany Zickfoose contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

J.J. Green, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Iran Air 744 is a bimonthly flight that originates in Tehran and flies directly to Caracas with periodic stops in Beirut and Damascus. The maiden flight was Feb. 2, 2007.

The mere existence of the flight was a significant concern for U.S. intelligence officials, but now a broader concern is who and what are aboard the flights.

“If you [a member of the public] tried to book yourself a seat on this flight and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a week before, a month before, six months before — you’ll never find a place to sit there,” says Offer Baruch, a former Israeli Shin Bet agent.

Baruch, now vice president of operations for International Shield, a security firm in Texas, says the plane is reserved for Iranian agents, including “Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and other intelligence personnel.”

Current and former U.S. intelligence official fear the flight is a shadowy way to move people and weapons to locations in Latin America that can be used as staging points for retaliatory attacks against the U.S. or its interests in the event Iranian nuclear sites are struck by U.S. or Israeli military forces.

“My understanding is that this flight not only goes from Caracas to Damascus to Tehran perhaps twice a month, but it also occasionally makes stops in Lebanon as well, and the passengers on that flight are not processed through normal Venezuelan immigrations or customs. They are processed separately when they come into the country,” says Peter Brookes, senior fellow for National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

The 16-hour flight typically leaves Tehran and stops at Damascus International Airport (DAM), which is Syria’s busiest. In 2009, almost 4.5 million passengers used the airport.

After a 90-minute layover, the flight continues the remaining 14 hours to Venezuela’s Caracas Maiquetía International Airport (CCS). Upon arrival, the plane is met by special Venezuelan forces and sequestered from other arrivals.

“It says that something secretive or clandestine is going on that they don’t want the international community to know about,” says Brookes, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs and CIA employee.

“The fact that there is a flight is of course of interest, but the fact that not anybody can gain access to this flight or buy a ticket for that flight is of particular curiosity and should be of concern to the United States.”

In addition to speculation about who is aboard, there are significant concerns that the Boeing 747SP airplane might be transporting uranium to Tehran on the return flight. The U.S. government has enacted strong sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program and there are worries the flight might provide an opportunity to skirt the embargo against materials that might be used for the program.

“Clearly, Iran has been a sponsor of Hezbollah, and clearly Hezbollah profits from this relationship,” former CIA Director Michael J. Hayden says.

“It would be too much to say that Hezbollah is a puppet of the Iranian state, but one way of looking at this relationship is that the Iranian state might rely on Hezbollah as a strategic weapon — its weapon for global reach.”

Hayden, now a principle in the Chertoff Group, says the CIA has been aware of the activities for several years.

“Fundamentally, the thing that first and very solidly caught our attention at the Agency was the inauguration of direct air flight between the two capitals. Here was a conduit that people could travel from Iran into the Western Hemisphere, into Latin America in a way that would be very difficult for American intelligence services to detect and to understand.

“Right there at that very simple level, just the direct flight is something that we would be and should be concerned about.”

Brookes says the passengers “may not even need visas because they are special passengers. That obviously is of concern because there is no transparency about who the people are coming in and going out of the country. Of course there is concern that these folks may be Iranian special agents.”

Beyond concerns about Iranian intelligence flooding the west, Brookes and others worry that Iranian special advisers are schooling the Venezuelan military and may be involved in plans to move Iranian agents inside the U.S.

“It’s certainly a possibility. Would the agents that come into Venezuela be able to find their way to the United States? That’s certainly possible. You see the drug smugglers today using submersibles to move drugs to the U.S. and other parts of the Caribbean which is a real challenge. So why wouldn’t they be able to do the same with persons?”

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NEW POLL FINDS U.S., ARAB SUPPORT FOR MILITARY STRIKE ON IRAN TO PREVENT MULLAHS FROM GETTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

NEW POLL FINDS U.S., ARAB SUPPORT FOR MILITARY STRIKE ON IRAN TO PREVENT MULLAHS FROM GETTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

* Will it happen? Should it? Lt.-Gen. (ret). Boykin, Israeli Vice PM Yaalon and I will discuss implications during conference

By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Philadelphia, PA, June 24, 2010) — An intriguing new survey of international public opinion indicates deep concern over the mullahs in Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and strong support for preemptive military action to stop Tehran from getting the Bomb. According to the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project 2010….

* In 16 of the 22 states included in the survey, people who were polled said they would support preemptive military strikes against Iran to prevent the mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons compared to avoiding a military conflict with Iran, even if that means allowing the mullahs to have nuclear weapons.

* In the U.S., 66% support a military strike on Iran, compared to 24% who object.
* In France, 59% support a military strike, compared to 41% who object.
* In Germany, 51% support a military strike, compared to 39% who object.
* In Great Britain, 48% support a military strike, compared to 37% who object.
* In Egypt, 55% support a military strike, compared to 16% who object.
* In Jordan, 53% support a military strike, compared to 20% who object.
* In Lebanon 44% support a military strike, compared to 37% who object.
* In Brazil, 53% support a military strike, compared to 33% who object.
* However, in Turkey, only 29% support a military strike, compared 37% who object and would allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.

That said, I don’t forsee a U.S. or NATO preemptive strike to stop Iran from getting the Bomb, especially with General David Petraeus moving from CENTCOM commander to running the war in Afghanistan. Will Israel launch a strike? That remains to be seen, but if Netanyahu orders one, don’t expect these poll numbers to hold up. International public opinion would likely turn decisively against Israel in such a conflict.

Truman Was Right; Netanyahu Would Be Right===Barack Obama is the most anti-Israel president in U.S. history

Truman Was Right; Netanyahu Would Be Right

By Ken Blackwell

President Obama’s new Nuclear Posture Review has succeeded mightily in muddying the clear waters. He says that we will not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear power. Except Iran. Except North Korea. If we are attacked with biological or chemical weapons, we will not retaliate with nuclear weapons. Is this a green light for another attack on the homeland? And what are the former captive nations of Europe supposed to think? Does any NATO member — like Poland, like Estonia — sleep more soundly with this ringing declaration of confusion, this uncertain trumpet?

When he was in Japan last fall, Mr. Obama pointedly avoided saying that the U.S. use of nuclear weapons to end the carnage of World War II was justified. The American left — Barack Obama’s base — has been indicting Harry Truman for decades for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
Truman faced the horrible prospect of losing 600,000 American lives in an invasion of the Japanese home islands. He also had to consider the real danger of millions Japanese civilian deaths in the combat and from mass suicides. The leftist Truman-haters also never consider the 10,000 allied POWs dying weekly in Japanese captivity.
When Mr. Obama bowed low before Emperor Akihito, it was a tacit apology for all of that. Japan in 1945 was a non-nuclear power. The new Nuclear Posture Review is Obama’s elliptical way of saying that Harry Truman was wrong.
Now we come to the mortal peril of Israel. Barack Obama is the most anti-Israel president in U.S. history. He has been willing to excoriate Benjamin Netanyahu’s shaky coalition government over Jews building apartments in East Jerusalem while cooing to despots in Riyadh and Cairo. Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel, a liberal supporter of Barack Obama, is in anguish. “Jerusalem is Jewish history,” he said in a full-page ad, an open letter to the president. “Jerusalem,” this Holocaust survivor said, “is the heart of our heart.”
Martin Peretz of the New Republic, another liberal Obama-backer, noted that Obama’s stiff-arming of Israel has served only to stiffen Palestinian intransigence. The PLO “quickly surmised that Obama was in their corner and would not push them much. Their surmise turned out to be correct.” Former New York Mayor Ed Koch is distraught. He endorsed Barack Obama for president, but now cries: “I weep as I witness outrageous verbal attacks on Israel … that are being orchestrated by President Obama.”
Add to this dangerous mix Mr. Obama’s cool and detached analysis of sanctions against an Iranian regime hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. “Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.” Actually, most of the time, they don’t work. And they are especially doomed to fail when those who are supposed to be “crippled” and “bitten” by the “tough and smart” sanctions know that there is no muscle behind the bluster. Even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — Mr. Obama’s top military man — knows that his administration has no clue what to do about Iran.
Mahmoud Admadinejad, the mouthpiece for the Iranian mullahs, repeatedly says he envisions a world without Israel, a world without the U.S. And he responds to Obama’s neutering Nuclear Policy Review with withering scorn. He celebrates Iran’s unimpeded advance toward nuclear weaponry with open taunting of the toothless U.S. policy.
I believe Truman was justified in that hardest of all presidential decisions. Tens of millions of Americans and Japanese are alive today because Truman had the determination and grit to make that awful decision.
As justified as we were then, Israel would be even more justified in using tactical nuclear weapons now to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat to the world. Japan in 1945 presented no existential threat to the U.S. Iran is just such a threat — to Israel, to NATO, and to us.
When the Israelis struck Saddam Hussein’s nuclear Osirak plant in 1981, the world howled. Even our U.S. State Department — under Alexander Haig — condemned the raid. The anti-Israel majority at the U.N. threatened sanctions against the Jewish state. President Reagan effectively sidetracked sanctions then.
But if Israel had not acted swiftly and effectively against Saddam Hussein then, the United States would not have been able to eject him from Kuwait a decade later with so little loss of American life. Saddam would have become the dominant power in the Mideast. That he did not rain nuclear missiles on Israel in 1991 is wholly attributable to the Israelis’ brave and skillful raid of 1981.
Mr. Obama’s feckless policies are giving the Israelis no choice. He wasted fifteen months in fruitless overtures to the Iranian terror leaders. He advanced toward them with an open hand; they spit in his open hand. Bullying democratic Israel and coddling terror states is no policy.
April is the month when millions of Jews and their righteous Gentile friends around the world reflect on what it means to be a stateless, powerless, hunted people. Jews remember the Holocaust and say “Never Again.” Whether the United States under Barack Obama is with them or not, Israel has a right to act to make sure: Never Again.

Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He serves on the board of directors of the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union, and National Rifle Association.

A Nuclear Iran Could Become the First ‘Suicide State’ President Obama’s naive belief in rationality could turn Israeli cities into cemeteries

A Nuclear Iran Could Become
the First ‘Suicide State’
President Obama’s naive belief in rationality
could turn Israeli cities into cemeteries

 

April 13, 2010 | Professor Louis Rene Beres
lberes@purdue.edu

President Barack Obama–this week launched a special nuclear security summit in Washington–finally acknowledges that Iranian threats to annihilate Israel are serious. Still, Obama fails to understand that applying so-called economic sanctions to Iran will be ineffectual. Somehow, despite very good reasons to the contrary, the president is now insisting that Israel learn to “live” with a nuclear Iran.

Obama confidently assumes that Tehran could be dealt with using the normally-compelling dynamics of nuclear deterrence. The problem with such threat-based optimism, however, is the always-underlying presumption of enemy rationality. Without rationality, deterrence will fail.

No system of nuclear deterrence can operate unless all of the involved countries value their own physical survival more highly than anything else. Significantly, Tehran’s new nuclear status could coincide with an unshakable leadership belief in the Shi’ite apocalypse. Here, Israel would face not only more Palestinian suicide-bombers (President Obama’s recycled Road Map toward a “Two-State Solution” will only encourage Palestinian terrorism), but also a “suicide state.”

Barack Obama stubbornly fails to recognize something critical. This is the unspeakable goal of all Israel’s Islamist enemies, which remains Jewish extermination. Oddly, this expressly genocidal goal is unhidden. In the bitterest of ironies, an ancient nation that was ingathered in 1948 precisely to prevent another Holocaust has become the fevered focus of another Final Solution.

The goal of all Israel’s enemies, especially Iran and the soon-to-be-born (and Obama-favored) Palestinian state, is to be left standing while Israel is made to disappear. For these refractory enemies, there can be no coexistence with Israel. At the end of the day, this is because their own survival is believed to demand Israel’s extinction.

Pressured by President Obama to exchange land for nothing, Israel is being pushed to collaborate in its own disappearance. Israel’s prime minister should take notice. It would be a fatal mistake for Binyamin Netanyahu to embrace Obama’s cheery belief that reason and rationality govern the world, a belief implicit, for example, in the president’s hope for “a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Barack Obama will not save Israel. Once Iran had decided to launch nuclear missiles at Israel, perhaps a plausible prospect in just a few years, Washington’s best assistance would be confined to help bury the dead. Even for this “assistance,” whole Israeli cities would first have to be converted into cemeteries.

Whether in Gaza, West Bank (Judea/Samaria) or Tehran, Israel’s Jihadist enemies wish to kill Jews because every such homicide is a deeply felt and genuinely sacred obligation. For them, killing Jews remains a praiseworthy expression of religious sacrifice. President Obama should bear in mind that such killing is expected to confer upon the perpetrators immunity from personal death. Could there ever be a more compelling expectation?

In the Islamic Middle East, power over death always trumps all other forms of power. There is no greater power in the Dar al Islam (the World of Islam) than the religiously-authoritative promise of immortality, and this promise is always linked to total war against “unbelievers.”

The core idea of death as a zero-sum commodity–“I kill you; I therefore remain alive forever”–has already been explained in certain literatures, and in psychology. It is captured perfectly in philosopher Ernest Becker’s paraphrase of Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti: “Each organism raises its head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good.”

Just to stay alive, Israel must understand what Freud inner-circle member Otto Rank once called a general principle of psychology: “The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the Sacrifice, of the other; through the death of the other one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying, of being killed.”

Israel’s enemies, to remain standing, and to prevent Israel from standing up, seek to sacrifice the Jewish state on a joyously bloodstained altar of protracted war and terror.

This planned destruction of Israel is not about geopolitics. It is integrally part of a system of religious worship that is directed toward the conquest of personal death.

True peace in the Middle East will never be brought about by political cliches and empty witticisms. Real wisdom is necessary, and this insight will need to be based upon a true awareness of jihadist goals and capabilities. For Barack Obama, this calls for a much deeper understanding of the interpenetrating and existential threats to Israel posed by Iran and “Palestine.”


PROFESSOR LOUIS RENE BERES, Professor of Political Science at Purdue, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971). Born in Zurich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II, he is the author of many major books, monographs and articles dealing with international law, strategic theory, Israeli nuclear policy, and regional nuclear war. In Israel, where he served as Chair of Project Daniel, his work is known to selected military and intelligence communities.

Disclaimer:
This article is the author’s personal opinion and is not the opinion or policy of Myths and Facts.