Iran’s Ballistic Missiles May Spur New Gulf Defenses

Global Security Newswire Staff
April 28, 2014, 8:13 a.m.

A high-level Obama in­sider said Wash­ing­ton wants to as­sist in field­ing an in­teg­rated bal­list­ic mis­sile shield for Gulf al­lies, Re­u­ters re­ports.

The planned an­ti­mis­sile de­ploy­ments would be an an­swer to Ir­an’s grow­ing bal­list­ic mis­sile ca­pa­cit­ies, Frank Rose, deputy as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary of State for space and de­fense policy, told journ­al­ists in Abu Dh­abi on Sunday. The United States and its part­ners fear that Ir­an’s bal­list­ic mis­siles may be able to ac­com­mod­ate nuc­le­ar pay­loads. However, the Middle East­ern na­tion has re­fused to dis­cuss the arms in talks in which West­ern powers are seek­ing to lim­it atom­ic activ­it­ies that Tehran could tap for bomb de­vel­op­ment.

“As long as Ir­an con­tin­ues to de­vel­op bal­list­ic mis­siles that can threaten the United States or de­ployed forces and our friends and al­lies in the re­gion, we will work ef­fect­ively with our part­ners here in the [United Ar­ab Emir­ates] as well as the rest of the Gulf to de­fend against that threat,” Rose said.

He aired op­tim­ism, though, about the po­ten­tial for “a suc­cess­ful res­ol­u­tion of the Ir­an nuc­le­ar is­sue.”

Ir­an, which in­sists its nuc­le­ar am­bi­tions are peace­ful, on Sunday re­af­firmed its po­s­i­tion that bal­list­ic mis­siles “have not and will not be the sub­ject of any ne­go­ti­ations,” the na­tion’s Fars News Agency re­por­ted. Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif ad­ded it is “wrong to as­sume that the only ap­plic­a­tion [of the mis­siles] is car­ry­ing un­con­ven­tion­al weapons.”

Still, an un­named U.S. gov­ern­ment source ref­er­enced the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil’s 2010 pro­hib­i­tion on all Ir­a­ni­an ef­forts in­volving nuc­le­ar-cap­able bal­list­ic mis­siles.

“In some way, this will have to be ad­dressed,” the high-level in­sider told Re­u­ters.

Mean­while, an Ir­a­ni­an mil­it­ary of­ficer an­nounced tri­al flights of sev­er­al new me­di­um-range bal­list­ic mis­siles, Fars News re­por­ted on Sunday.

“The labor­at­ory pro­duc­tion of these mis­siles has star­ted and one or two samples have been test-fired,” Ir­a­ni­an Brig. Gen. Ahmad-Reza Pour­dast­an said.

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