Thursday, July 10, 2008

Iran test-fires missiles able to hit Israel

In a show of defiance to the United States, Israel and the International community Iran launched a new series of Shahab-3 missiles capable of hitting Israel and U.S. military installations in the middle-east. Each of the Shahab-3's are equipped to handle a thermo-nuclear device and were launched today as a demonstration of the Iranian regime's expressed willingness to threaten Israel if attacked.

MEMRI-TV released videos of the missile tests that were covered on Iranian TV.

Iranian Air Force General Hossein Salami told Iranian Television reporters the excercise was conducted to, "demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language."

The Iranian tests come on the heels of a U.S. defense agreement with the Czech Republic to place anti-ballistic missile radar systems in the central European country to counter the threat of an Iranian attack on Europe. In remarks noted by the Voice of America Secretary of State Condoleza Rice condemned the tests stating, "We face with the Iranians, and so do our allies and friends, a growing missile threat that is getting ever longer and ever deeper - and where the Iranian appetite for nuclear technology is, to this point, still unchecked".

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates underscored the need for a European missile defense shield against Iran. "We've been saying as we talk about missile defense in Europe that there is a real threat, and the test this morning underscores it" quotes CNN.

The Presidential candidates also weighed in on the Iranian missile tests. Senator John McCain said “Iran’s missile tests also demonstrate the need for effective missile defense now and in the future, and this includes missile defense in Europe as is planned with the Czech Republic and Poland,”. In a statement released by McCain the Senator noted Iran's missile tests "demonstrate again the dangers it poses to its neighbors and to the wider region, especially Israel."

Appearing on the nation's morning news shows Senator Obama told the CBS Early Show that the reports about the tests were still coming in, “I would want to talk to the national security team to find out whether this indicates any new capabilities on Iran’s part. At this point, the reports aren’t clear. It’s still early”.

Yes Senator Obama, the latest report we have on Iran's new capabilities is that from its western frontier the regime has test fired at nine nuclear capable ballistic missiles able to hit Israel and U.S. military bases in the middle-east.

Other than an obligatory riff on the morning news shows that Iran poses "a great threat" the Senator was quite vociferous on the Senate floor in his opposition to previous sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps which launched those missiles yesterday. As John McCormack of The Weekly Standard recalls, late last year when the Kyl-Lieberman amendment came up for a vote in the Senate floor to impose sanctions on the IRGC, Senator Obama vigorously opposed the measure despite the overwhelming bi-partisan support the ammendment had from fellow Democrats such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harry Reid, Chuck Schummer and Dick Durban. Senator Obama dismissed the measure as "saber rattling".

The Senator still points with pride to his opposition to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. Senator Barack Obama's website brags that his opposition was so strenuous that he, "also introduced a resolution in the Senate declaring that no act of Congress – including Kyl-Lieberman – gives the Bush administration authorization to attack Iran."

Back when he was running for the party's nomination Obama said that countries like Iran are tiny and told his admirers that Iran, "doesn't pose a serious threat to us". Why is the junior Senator from Illinois so opposed to sanctions against Iran in practice but like to talk tough about Iran when he's making the rounds on the news show circuit?

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