Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Iran to US: sanction this!

Just as the US gets ready to bargain away the proposed Czech-based anti-missile shield, Iran has given a dramatic illustration of why Europe might one day need such a thing. On Wednesday the Islamic republic launched a solid-fuel missile with a 1200-mile range, putting Cairo, Istanbul, Tashkent, and Delhi within its range, not to mention all of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The launch is widely seen as a response to the American threat of further sanctions if Iran doesn't agree to talks about its nuclear ambitions. Sanction this, Great Satan!

Adding piquancy to these events, American and Russian scientists this week predicted that Iran could have a nuclear warhead for its missile in six or eight years. The Israelis, who have long been within range of Iranian liquid-fueled rockets, are relaxed about these developments. 'In terms of strategic importance, this new missile test doesn't change anything for us,' said an Israeli official. 'But it should worry the Europeans.'

And not just the Europeans! 'The Iranians are also trying to develop a ballistic missile with a range of 10,000 kilometres (6,250 miles) that could reach the coast of the United States,' the Israeli added. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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