On September 21, 2000, Iran successfully tested the Shahab-3 intermediate range missile, and shortly thereafter commenced deployment of this missile system. The Shahab-3 is capable of delivering a warhead a distance of 825 miles. Israel is well within range of these missiles.
Russian, North Korea and China supply Iran with missile technology, and the Shahab-3 missile is designed around the North Korean Taepo Dong-1 platform. This platform is also the basis for Iranian development of an IRBM, or space-launch vehicle.
It should be understood that the delivery of nuclear warheads is no longer the only objective for the missile programs of China, Iran, Iraq and North Korea, the four nations that are aggressively involved in creating missiles that would be capable of threatening the developed world, with particular emphasis on the U.S.
Rather, these platforms are intended to be used not only to deliver nuclear warheads, but also biological and chemical weapons of extraordinary potency.
Iran has stated that the Shahab-3 is its last military missile, but as long as Israel exists, it is probable that Iran will continue to develop weapons intended to influence the policy of more powerful nations toward the mideast.
To read the transcript of a hearing before the Senate International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services Subcommittee on Iranian and other missile defense systems, click here.
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