Iran Achieves a Four-Front Missile Command, Breakthrough on Nuclear Missile Warheads

debkafile‘s military sources disclose that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps have created a separate missile command, in which Syria’s missile force is to be integrated. The joint command was formalized in a new mutual defense treaty signed by the Syrian defense minister, Gen. Hassan Turkmani in Tehran last week.
Israeli military sources judge the operational merger of Iranian and Syrian missile corps to be a major strategic hazard to the Jewish state.
Western and Israeli military experts connect it with other indications that Iran’s program for developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads has gone into high gear and reached an advanced stage. They believe the Iranians have beaten most of the technical difficulties holding it up.
On May 26, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, which often goes easy on Iran, released a harsh report confirming Iran’s progress in “missile warhead design.”
The new missile command was cautiously announced last week by the IRGC commander, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari. He said: “An independent command might be created in Sepah (IRGC) in order to fortify the structure and activities of the missile section.”
debkafile‘s Iranians sources explain Jafar’s cautious language on three grounds:
1. He was preparing Iran’s population and the Arab world for a pretty portentous development.
2. He was at pains not to put off figures in the West who argue strongly in favor of unconditional talks with Tehran over its nuclear misdeeds. He counted on those advocates shouting down the Western strategists who would appreciate the startling significance of the separate command.
3. Tehran also views Syria’s co-option and the new mutual defense treaty as a sort of guarantee that Assad’s “peace talks” with Israel will in no way detract from his military and other commitments to Iran.
debkafile‘s Iranian sources disclose that the details of the combined command were worked out ahead of the Syrian defense minister’s talks in Tehran: It was agreed that Syria’s missile units would come under the new independent Iranian missile section and their operations would be fully coordinated with Tehran. Iranian officers are to be attached to Syrian units and Syrian officers posted to the Iranian command.
In the interim, Hizballah’s rise to power in Beirut has brought Lebanon into the shared Syrian-Iranian orbit. This development has enabled Tehran to line up a row of missiles deployments of varying strengths from Iran, Syria and Lebanon and up to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip – a missile array never before seen in the Middle East and a strategic menace most of Israel’s security leaders rate unacceptable.
Military experts comment that Tehran’s centralized control of four hostile missile fronts will virtually neutralize the American and Israeli anti-missile defense systems in the region; the Arrow and the Patriot missile interceptors could handle incoming missiles from one or maybe two directions – but not four.
debkafile‘s military sources report that Israel’s armed forces have been working overtime, against repeated holdups, to get the third Arrow battery installed. It is to be deployed in northern Israel as a shield against Syrian ballistic missiles and Iranian missiles stationed in Syria.
The formation of the joint Iranian-Syrian missile command has slowed the project down. It calls for modifications in the Arrow’s deployment to meet the fresh challenge and a time-consuming study by US and Israeli intelligence specialists of how the new command structure functions. Western military sources doubt the Arrow system will be up and running by this summer, a period considered critical by military observers.
They discount as over-optimistic recent claims by Israeli officials that the new Iron Dome will be ready for operational testing against short-range missiles in the next year or two.
In a related development, debkafile‘s Gulf sources report that next week, Iran’s supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Syrian president Bashar Assad launch a major campaign to further isolate American influence and bludgeon moderate Arab governments into alignment with their extreme anti-US, anti-Israel line.
Assad sets out Sunday, June 1, for the United Arab Emirates for talks with Sheikh KHalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan in Abu Dhabi. Tuesday, he spends two days in Kuwait. The visits were set up by the Qatar ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who spent Friday, May 30, in Assad’s palace, gathering compliments for the Doha accord he mediated which solved Lebanon’s political crisis by installing a national unity government in Beirut dominated by Hizballah.
The Qatari ruler, Assad and Khamenei have joined forces to use the Lebanon accord as an object lesson to teach Arab governments that they do not need the United States or Saudi Arabia to help them manage their problems.
This message was relayed in Iran foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki’s arrogant statement in Stockholm Friday. He said: “The United States of America needs a serious review of its foreign policy towards the Middle East. These policies in… Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and generally speaking in the Middle East are mistaken policies.”
debkafile‘s political sources point out that these reverses are piling up against the United States and Israel at the worst time possible: both governments are hobbled – Washington in the dying days of the Bush administration, and Israel, by the grave corruption allegations against prime minister Ehud Olmert which have placed him and the other two senior policy-makers, the defense and foreign ministers, at loggerheads.

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