In an interview given by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US-based Hudson Institute, Netanyahu confirmed that Iran is developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. It was the first time for an Israeli prime minister to make such a confirmation. A previous report by Israel Defense had warned of this. Such a missile is supposed to have a range of at least 5,500km to 10,000km.

As said previously, the first hint surfaced in 2011 with the death of Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, who was a central figure in the development of the Iranian missile program. Moghaddam was killed in a mysterious explosion in November 2011 while developing a large solid-fuel engine that at the time was not suitable for any known missile in Iran.

It should be mentioned that the nuclear archive that the Mossad brought from Iran included, at the time this article was written, very little material regarding development of the Iranian missiles, an essential component of the military nuclear program. One of the research institutes relying on the archive materials brought by the Mossad is the ISIS institute. So I asked the institute to explain why, until now, only materials on the nuclear program, not materials on missiles, have been leaked from the archive.

“Hello Ami, the archive contains documents by Iran’s Plan Amad, which as you know was the name of Iran’s crash nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s. There are documents related to integrating a nuclear warhead into a re-entry vehicle of a Shahab 3 missile, which entailed considerable research and engineering to ensure the warhead would survive the flight and reach a target,” wrote David Albright in response. Albright is one of the leading researchers at the institute that has published a variety of articles on the nuclear program of Iran.

“But I have not seen any specifically on the ballistic missile itself, although I have not asked for any. Nonetheless, the specialists on the Shahab 3 missile would have been in SHIG (Shahid Hemat Industrial Group) and I would not expect many such technical documents in the Nuclear Archive. Moreover, at our Institute we concentrate on nuclear matters and are not missile experts.”

Whether connected to Netanyahu’s public announcement on the topic or not, the European countries that are parties to the nuclear accord with Iran are demanding to expand the accord to the field of missiles. Apparently, they have realized in Europe that Iranian missiles can also reach them.

Source » israeldefense