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 »
Just a day after Donald Trump called her a bigot, Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing speech tying Trump to the KKK and so-called “alt-right.” This new frontier of debate between the two candidates has emerged at a time when Trump has been seeking to appeal to minority voters, among whom he has struggled to garner support. Calling him “profoundly dangerous,” Clinton didn’t hold back on her criticisms of Trump. “He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” Clinton said.
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51%-41% in a new Quinnipiac poll released today. Her lead shrinks to seven points when the third-party candidates are included. In that scenario, she leads 45%-38%, with Gary Johnson pulling 10% and Jill Stein at 4%.
Is the Clinton family backtracking on some of its promises to insulate the White House from the Clinton Foundation? Opposition researchers will certainly try to portray it that way. A foundation spokesman said yesterday that Chelsea Clinton will stay on its board, and that the "foundation’s largest project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, might continue to accept foreign government and corporate funding."
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”