Iran may be able to build a missile capable of striking the United States by 2015, according to an unclassified Defense Department report on Iran's military sent to Congress and released on Monday.And don't be too quick to rely on the US to be able to just shoot those missiles down:
"With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States by 2015," said the April report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
A classified version was also submitted to Congress.
The timing of advances in Iran's long-range missile technology is being closely watched in Washington, which accuses Tehran of pursuing nuclear weapons and is pushing for a new round of sanctions. Iran denies the charges and says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
"Iran's nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy," the report said.
The U.S. military tried and failed to shoot down a simulated Iranian missile strike on the United States in January, in a botched $150 million exercise over the Pacific Ocean. That attempt failed because of a malfunction in a radar built by Raytheon Co.Meanwhile, we are seeing the same game being played that we have seen over the past many years--pushing the deadline further and further back--
It was not immediately clear whether the latest estimate on Iran's missile technology was a departure from a May 2009 National Intelligence Estimate, which deemed Tehran unlikely to have a long-range missile until between 2015 and 2020, according to U.S. officials who saw the report at the time.Is that why Obama does not seem overly rushed to act decisively against Iran?
The 2009 estimate was revised from an earlier range of between 2012 to 2015.
Representative Ike Skelton, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, called the report a "comprehensive view of the military situation in Iran."
If so, it may fall upon Israel to save both itself and the US.
Technorati Tag: Iran.