Israel News & Middle East News & YNet.News – 2007-08-24 00:52:00
(August 24, 2007) — Iran has developed a 2,000-pound (900 kg) “smart bomb”, official media quoted a Defense Ministry statement as saying on Wednesday, in the latest announcement from Tehran about progress regarding military hardware.
The guided bomb, named Qased (Messenger), was developed by specialists within the ministry and is now operational, IRNA news agency said, adding it could be dropped from F-4 and F-5 jets.
Iran still uses planes, such as the F-5, supplied by the United States to the government of the former shah of Iran, who was a close US ally. Mohammad Reza Shah was ousted in the 1979 Islamic revolution, after which Washington cut ties with Tehran.
The two countries are embroiled in a deepening standoff over Iran’s nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making atom bombs, a charge Iran denies.
Iran often says it has built new arms or upgraded weapons but rarely gives enough details for analysts to determine their capabilities. Although much of Iran’s weaponry is outmoded, analysts say Iran has become proficient at modifying such arms.
Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said last year Iran had designed the Qased bomb but that it had yet to be tested. He said only a limited number of countries possessed the technology of “smart and guided weaponry”.
The United States says it would prefer a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row, but has not ruled out military action. Iran has threatened to hit back at US regional interests if attacked.
Guards Chief: Iran Missiles Can Hit Warships in Gulf
Commander of Revolutionary Guards says his ground forces have missiles that could penetrate armor plating fitted to Israel’s Merkava tanks, US Abrams tanks
Iranian missiles can hit warships operating anywhere in the Gulf and Oman Sea, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, the day US officials said they might label his forces “terrorists”
But the speech by Commander-in-Chief Yahya Rahim Safavi, according to a report carried by Iran’s Fars News Agency, made no mention of the US threat to brand his units.
“Our coast-to-sea missile systems can now reach the breadth and length of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea and no warships can pass in the Persian Gulf without being in range of our coast-to-sea missiles,” Safavi said in his speech, Fars reported.
Iran, locked in a standoff with Washington over its nuclear plans, has previously boasted it had missiles that could sink “big warships” in the Gulf, a region where US aircraft carriers and warships operate.
The United States is seeking to isolate Iran over what it says is Tehran’s bid to build nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran insists its atomic plans are directed at making electricity to preserve its oil and gas for exports.
Safavi also said Iran’s missiles with a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles) were fitted with equipment that enabled them to be remote controlled, an apparent reference to the Shahab-3 missile, although he did not name it. That missile could hit Israel.
Safavi said the Revolutionary Guards ground forces had missiles in its arsenal that could penetrate the armor plating which he said was fitted to Israel’s Merkava tanks and the US Abrams tanks.
US officials said on Wednesday they may soon designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization in a move targeting the finances of the group. An Iranian Foreign Ministry source called the report “psychological warfare”.
“Such reports are published as part of the US leaders PR and psychological activity against Iran and are worthless,” the sources told IRNA news agency.
Dudi Cohen contributed to the report
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.