- Iran Builds Active Front with Direct Presence on Israel’s Border– Y. Carmon and Y. Yehoshua
Iran’s deployment in Syria has been based on the establishment of a new Hizbullah Syria organization, as well as on the direct presence of Iranian forces, particularly in the Golan Heights. In May 2014, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) senior official Hossein Hamedani spoke of “130,000 trained Iranian Basij fighters waiting to enter Syria.”
Iran now commands a theater that stretches through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean. Iran’s deployment on Israel’s border increases the possibility that any local eruption could quickly develop into a regional conflict. Iran’s aim in deploying in the Golan Heights is not only to deter Israel from acting against its nuclear program, but also to establish an active front for anti-Israel terror attacks.
Columnist Nahed Al-Hattar wrote in the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar on Feb. 13: “As much as [Israel] feared the Iranian nuclear program, it never imagined that Iran would be standing on its border even before its nuclear agreement with the Americans was complete. The Iranian threat to Israel is no longer theoretical….The threat has become direct, practical and conventional.” Y. Carmon is President and Founder of MEMRI; Y. Yehoshua is Vice President for Research and Director of MEMRI Israel. (MEMRI)
- Rouhani: Iran Speeds Up Nuclear Progress
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday, “We have made highly important progress in the nuclear field, but the negotiations receive so much attraction and hue and cry that they overshadow these activities, otherwise, we are running at a higher speed.” He underlined that the country doesn’t ask permission from anyone to make progress in different scientific and technological fields.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei underlined that the dispute over the country’s nuclear program is being used as a pretext to slow down the Islamic Republic’s scientific-technological progress and contain its influence across the region and beyond. (Fars News-Iran)
- Nuclear Deal with Tehran Will Not Eliminate All Threats – Bill Sweetman
Iran’s linked development of nuclear energy and surface-to-surface missiles is motivating multiple missile-defense programs. Suzanne Maloney, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggests that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not interested in any agreement that does not leave the nation’s nuclear capabilities intact.
Even if there are successes in the nuclear negotiations, there is evidence that progress in missile development continues. Israeli missile-defense pioneer Uzi Rubin argued that indicators pointing to slowdowns in missile development may be misleading. Rubin cited ongoing space-launch attempts and the May 2013 unveiling of a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) for the 2,000-km.-range (1,245-mi.) Shahab-3 missile. The TEL was not a prototype: Iran showed a production line and modifications to the unit’s design to disguise it as a civilian tractor-trailer.
Other developments include Iran’s announcement in February 2014 of a multiple reentry vehicle (MRV) payload for the Shahab-3. Rather than a slowdown, Rubin says tests are being concealed. He also warns of progress in adding GPS guidance to missiles. (Aviation Week)
- See also Iran to Speed Up Space Program (Fars News-Iran)
(Click on the title of any article to see the whole article…Ed.)