Obama administration gravely concerned by first all-Iranian satellite
The White House and Pentagon issued strong statements Tuesday, Feb. 3 about the dangers posed by the launch of Iran’s first homemade satellite into space while working toward developing long-range missile capability. debkafile notes that none of the leading contenders in Israel’s Feb. 10 general election, including the defense and foreign ministers – or even prime minister Ehud Olmert – saw fit to react to the event.
In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said any effort to develop missile delivery capability, continue an illicit nuclear program, threaten Israel and sponsor terror is an “acute concern to this administration.”
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that Iran poses “a real threat and a growing threat.” He said: “It is certainly a reason for us to be concerned about Iran and its continued attempts to develop a ballistic missile program of increasingly long range.”
debkafile‘s Washington sources report that the Obama administration is beginning to get fed up with Tehran continually laying down hard facts ahead of any dialogue begins between the two governments. An official in the national security council commented wryly: Now that the Iranians have proved they have ballistic missiles capable of reaching Europe and our bases there, what else have they up their sleeves before we start talking?
Our Iranian sources have seen no sign that Tehran proposes to soften its attitudes on nuclear or missile issues ahead of those talks.
At a joint news conference with UK foreign secretary David Milliband, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton announced William Burns would join the six major powers in Germany Wednesday to discuss the next steps on Iran’s nuclear designs which she called a threat to the world. “We are reaching out a hand, but the fist has to unclench,” she said.