If you live in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, that’s a question that you should answer, and in the affirmative. Last Wednesday, 20 May 2009, Iran launchedthe Sejil 2, its “longest-range solid-propellant missile yet.” The rangeof this missile is approximately 1,200 to 1,500 miles. This places Israel, the Middle East (including American bases), and Eastern Europe, well within range of Iranian missiles. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has claimedthat the missile “landed exactly on the target.” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed that the launch was a success, but is unsure as to whether the missile actually hit its target. According to experts, while this is not new technology, it does, however,Â prove that the technology that the Iranians have claimed to have had for around a year does, in fact, work. In addition to the threat of the range of the missiles is that of the potential warning. One of the problems with solid fuels is that they can be pre-fueled and hidden, which makes detection prior to launch far more difficult. Of course, this is good news if you’re an Iranian who wants to “send to hell,” as Ahmadinejad so eloquently put it, your enemies.
Iran, however, like any good nation, is not sitting on its laurels! They are quite busy, in fact. Iran has been buying uranium from Bolivia and Venezuela, for its nuclear program. At the same time, on Monday, 25 May 2009, Iran sent 6 warships into international waters. These ships even went into the Gulf of Aden, which is an important passageway for Middle Eastern oil.
This is all occurring while it seems that the Obama administration may be willing to accept a nuclear Iran, according to intelligence experts and academics who have analyzed statements released by the administration. At the same time, the Israeli government is trying, perhaps unsuccessfully, to cause the American government to understand that there is no connection between the dismemberment of illegal outposts in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, and Iran. As Minister of Defense Ehud Barak put it, “It’s not as if the moment the last outpost is dismantled, for reasons of the rule of law and the country’s authority over its citizens, the Iranians will abandon their nuclear ambitions. This is why these things need not be [presented as] directly interdependent.” So, in the meantime, if you haven’t already, locate your bomb shelter.