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Terrorism & Security

US to stage simulated Iran missile attack after Sajjil-2 test

The Pentagon will simulate an Iran missile attack with an ICBM in January, addressing a threat that is as yet hypothetical. Iran tested a medium-range Sajjil-2 missile Wednesday.

By / December 17, 2009

The Pentagon will simulate an Iranian missile attack in a missile defense test next month, news reports said a day after Iran test-fired a Saijjil-2 medium-range missile. The launch of the Sajjil-2, which has a 1,200-mile range and is capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe, hardened the West's resolve for sanctions on Iran's nuclear program.
Though the timing appears to be a coincidence, Time Magazine reports that the Department of Defense will simulate the launch of an Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to test the ability of American interceptors in January. Previous missile defense tests have used fake North Korean missiles to test American defenses.

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The ICBM has a longer range than the Sajjil-2, and is as of now only a hypothetical threat from Iran. Due to the more pressing threat of missiles such as the Sajjil-2, the US earlier this year halted a proposed land-based missile defense system that would have protected against ICBMs in favor of a ship-based system for defending against shorter- and medium-range missiles.
The Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday that Wednesday’s launch was the “latest twist in the strategic stand-off between Iran and the West, especially over its nuclear ambitions.” Iran has defied UN Security Council demands that it freeze uranium enrichment and has failed to provide a clear answer to a UN-backed nuclear deal in which much of Iran’s low-enriched uranium would be removed from the country in exchange for fuel for a research reactor. Tuesday the US House of Representatives voted to give President Barack Obama power to levy sanctions on Iran.
The missile launch also came amid new concern in the international community over Iran’s alleged accumulation of technical knowledge for building a nuclear weapon, reports the Associated Press.

Several U.S. officials familiar with the reportedly-secret Iranian technical document said that its authenticity has not been confirmed, but that it is part of a broader pattern of evidence suggesting Iran is laying groundwork to build a nuclear weapon. Iran has consistently insisted its nuclear program is for civilian purposes

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