A newly described Iranian weapon is likely designed to hold cluster munitions, not multiple warheads, as initially reported, says IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.
Iran would face substantial difficulties in equipping the “Barani” ballistic missile to protect dozens of reentry vehicles during their return into the atmosphere, the defense publication said in a Thursday analysis. The Persian Gulf power earlier this week said the missile performed as intended in a recent trial flight, and state television paired the announcement with a mock-up image of two ballistic missiles each firing roughly 30 reentry vehicles outside the earth’s atmosphere.
Iranian media described the Barani as a “new generation of long-range ballistic missiles carrying multiple reentry vehicle payloads.”
Jane’s, though, said it is “extremely unlikely” that the missile can accommodate multiple warheads, a capacity commonly tied to nuclear arms. Rather, Iran probably built the Barani payload to drop numerous smaller bomblets after returning into the atmosphere, the analysis says.
U.S. intelligence analysts referenced Iranian work on cluster munitions in a 2012 assessment for lawmakers, the defense publication noted.
“Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems with accuracy improvements and new submunition payloads,” the 2012 U.S. findings state.
Still, the Middle Eastern nation may be developing a capacity to release bomblets higher than Patriot antimissile systems — fielded in neighboring Arab countries — could intercept them, according to the analysis. Earlier this week, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan was reported to assert that the Barani missile is capable of “evading [the] enemy’s antimissile defense systems.”
Jane’s noted, though, that possible cluster-munition payloads could be intercepted by Aegis-equipped U.S. antimissile warships, as well as the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system.
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.