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Pentagon: Iran Could Test Missile That Could Reach U. S. Shores Within Three Years


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Pentagon: Iran improving its missile capabilities

By Mike Mount

Iran is steadily improving its missile capability and could be able to test a missile that could reach the U.S. shores within three years, according to a new Pentagon report assessing the status of the Iranian military.

"Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with accuracy improvements and new submuntion payloads," which allows missiles to drop explosives over a wider area causing more destruction, according to the report.

The missiles were part of war game exercises conducted by Iran last week. Iran's government said it was testing missiles capable of hitting U.S. bases around the Middle East.

"During the war games, long-range, medium-range and short-range missiles will be used and will be fired from different points across the country," which an Iranian spokesman said was designed to test the precision and efficiency of the warhead and missile systems.

The Pentagon report was created in April, ahead of the most recent Iranian war games, so intelligence from those exercises was not included in the report. Additionally, U.S officials could not confirm the accuracy of the Iranian statements about the latest exercises.

The latest report did cite Iranian war games held in 2011 in which Iran launched several missiles, "including a multiple missile salvo."

The 2012 report was signed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and sent to defense committees on Capitol Hill last week. It said regular ballistic missile training continues throughout the country and continues to develop missiles that can hit Israel and Eastern Europe, including an extended-range Shahab-3 and a medium-range ballistic missile, called the Ashura, that can fly more than 1,200 miles.

The report repeats what has been stated publicly by the United States, that over the last 20 years Iran has "placed significant emphasis on developing and fielding ballistic missiles," that could threaten the United States, coalition and partner countries around the Middle East and to project power in the region.

The report also maintains that Iran is still capable of testing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015, "with sufficient foreign assistance."

The United States and NATO have begun to field an anti-ballistic missile shield in the southern and eastern parts of Europe to protect from such a threat.

But weapons analyst John Pike said the missile shield is not fully operational.

"You know 2015 is very soon. Certainly if you believe the 2015 forecast, Iran would have that ballistic missile before the United States has a defense against it," Pike, weapons expert at GlobalSecurity.org, said on Wednesday.

Regarding Iran's continued desire to develop a nuclear weapon, the report reiterated already released information and positions the United States has held, but tied Iran's nuclear desires to Iran's ballistic missile ambition under the topic "Iranian Capabilities related to Nuclear and Missile Forces." That emphasized the over-arching threat the United States sees: Iran ultimately putting a nuclear weapon on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Iran has also claimed to have deployed anti-ship, short-range ballistic missiles that can identify and maneuver toward ships as they fly, according to the report. After Iran's continued saber-rattling and the country's threats to close the Straight of Hormuz, the United States moved a floating base for naval special forces into the Arabian Gulf, as well as four anti-mine ships.

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It is a serious concern.

The question is how do we handle it???

I do not think the country can afford another unjustified war.

And I think anything short of actually attacking us is unjustified IMO.

I say that because saber rattling has been going on for decades and if we went to war every time something MIGHT happen we would ALWAYS be at war.

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The other day I stumbled across this pic, and it kind of put the Iran situation in perspective for me.

This is the first image that comes to mind when I think of Iran..

Neda_was_killed_with_iran_polices.jpg

I've never really understood why the U.S. saw fit to intervene in Libya, yet we turned a blind eye to Iranians being slaughtered in their streets after the farcical elections of summer 2009.

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The whole Iran thing is really strange. I know a few folks that are Iranian/Persian and they are the most western loving, gaudy, materialistic, ego centric crowd of people I've ever met. It's a strange diachotomy because the people of Iran understand that their government has been taken hostage by religious extremists but do NOTHING about it. In fact there was a time (20's through early 70's) when Iran was one of the most westernized countries in the area.

tumblr_lzjq3vjEJc1qfthwao1_500.jpg

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So going back to the first post, let's put it all together...

- Several Iranian leaders want to wipe the US and Israel off the face of the map.

- They are developing nukes.

- They could have a missile that reaches the US within 3 years.

Well isn't that just dandy...

So in 3 years the Iranians will be where the US was 40 years ago.

I'm not getting the fear.

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Let's just pretend for one minute that Iran actually decides to bomb America without any sort of provocation whatsoever. Let's also pretend that this involves them firing nukes towards LA and NY. How does anyone think the international community would respond?

Sorry, but Ahmadinejad isn't going to wake up one day and decide to send nukes our way.

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This is the first image that comes to mind when I think of Iran..

Neda_was_killed_with_iran_polices.jpg

I've never really understood why the U.S. saw fit to intervene in Libya, yet we turned a blind eye to Iranians being slaughtered in their streets after the farcical elections of summer 2009.

I hear ya man, but if we clean up every single country where human right abuses are happening.....well...we just can't. We'd have to start with China.

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It's a strange diachotomy because the people of Iran understand that their government has been taken hostage by religious extremists but do NOTHING about it.

The citizens of Iran tried to do something about it during the summer of 2009, but the Iranian regime massacred them while the world watched.

The people of Iran make up one of the most reasonable, forward-thinking populations in the region, and I feel very sorry for them.

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This is the first image that comes to mind when I think of Iran..

Neda_was_killed_with_iran_polices.jpg

I've never really understood why the U.S. saw fit to intervene in Libya, yet we turned a blind eye to Iranians being slaughtered in their streets after the farcical elections of summer 2009.

To me, something like this has more to do with religion than anything else. Most of the human rights abuses are driven by religious hate.

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The citizens of Iran tried to do something about it during the summer of 2009, but the Iranian regime massacred them while the world watched.

The people of Iran make up one of the most reasonable, forward-thinking populations in the region, and I feel very sorry for them.

Yeah it's a real pitty. All of the Persians I know aren't even the slightest bit religious.

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I hear ya man, but if we clean up every single country where human right abuses are happening.....well...we just can't. We'd have to start with China.

I didn't and wouldn't say that "we" should clean such things up. You'd think that stuff like that would be the reason that international organizations exist.

To me, something like this has more to do with religion than anything else. Most of the human rights abuses are driven by religious hate.

The Iranian regime is run my Islamic militants. All the citizens of Iran want is to live in a free society with a legitimate government.

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I hear ya man, but if we clean up every single country where human right abuses are happening.....well...we just can't. We'd have to start with China.

Or Guantanimo Bay...

for the OP post, this seems like an article that would be a great thing to point to when wanting to do a pre emptive strike on Iran.

But if that is the reason to go into Iran, N. Korea and Pakistan must be close behind.

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