Iranians Developing WMDs?

A recent book (will supply cites later), claims that Iran has a missile program, and is developing a S-S missile (the “Shehab” III) -with a range of 1800 miles. Such a missile is capable of reaching Israel, Cairo, and Riyadh (SA). It is also claimed that the Shehab missile could carry a nuclear warhead.
is there any truth to this? Does iran have the indigenous technology to build accurate guided, long-range surface-surface missiles?

Well, they’ve had the opportunity to salvage wrecked SCUDs, & they have a lot of dough, so, yeah.

Iran has always had a missle program. It seems they’ve simply brought in better engineers to redesign their current crop. Missles are cheaper to maintain than a fleet of bombers.

Besides, missles aren’t considered a WMD. The things they carry can be though.

The Iranians have agreed to freeze their development of enriched uranium, in exchange for the U.S. not blocking their application to join the World Trade Organization. That looks like a good sign to me.

I’m not sure the range of 1,800 MILES is accurate, but more or less, the allegations are backed up by publicly available intelligence.


(I just had serious deja vu in posting this. I’m certain I’ve posted the same response to the same question not too long ago.)

I think it’s pretty much universally accepted among the Western powers that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program, and will for as long as it takes them to make a few bombs, at least. Nukes aren’t much use if you can’t deliver them, and as Iran is ostensibly committed to Israel’s destruction, development of missiles that can reach those distances would hardly be a surprise, even without a fair amount of intelligence pointing in that direction.

I personally don’t for one minute trust they’ll freeze their nuclear development program, regardless of what they say. They can make bombs with plutonium instead of enriched uranium if they choose, so that’s kind of an empty gesture anyway. They’re exploring all routes to nuclear weapons capability, and enriched U is just one of those paths.

Oh, that couldn’t possibly be wrong then… :wink:

Oh, I get your point entirely, and it’s a good one. Not to mention most of our intelligence on Iran is as big a heap of steaming plop as it was on Iraq. But the satellite pictures of the facilities for heavy water production, etc., are just too compelling.

How was the Heavy Water pic compelling. They’re building a heavy water reactor, but that just means they had a more complex nuclear power program then they admitted, not that they were cobbeling togeather a bomb. This is true of most of the evidence I’ve heard, that Iran is building was expanding it’s nuclear power projects (which of course could be used to produce fuel for bombs, but could just be an extension of Iran’s power program).

One thing the Iraq war has pretty much shown any of those nations around the mid east, is that there is only one way to provide a deterrant to US military capability.

Korea - possible nuclear capability - no chance of US invasion unless the US is very seriously provoked.

Iraq - no nuclear program, never was, never provoked the US but sitting on lots of oil - invaded.

The other thing this has demonstrated, is that US willingness to jump into yet another situation when it is already stretched means its a pretty good time to make as much progress as possible while it is very stretched.

The damage that the adventure in Iraq has done is that the US will have great difficulty convincing other nations, or possibly even its own public, that military action is necessary. The old ‘cry wolf’ syndrome, and one day it may well be of extreme importance for the world that the US is able to raise the support for military action.