Reza Kahlili, author of the award-winning book "A Time to Betray," served in CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, counterterrorism expert; currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI). He regularly appears in national and international media as an expert on Iran and counterterrorism inMore ↓Less ↑
“The Meshkat cruise missile, which God willing will be unveiled soon, has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles). It will be the upper hand of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the deputy defense minister, Brig. Gen. Mehdi Farahi, said.
According to Mashregh news, a media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division, the soon-to-be-revealed Meshkat, which is among the world’s longest-range cruise missiles, can be launched from fixed ground installations or from ships thousands of miles away. That means the Meshkat can strike one of the most important American military bases, Diego Garcia, which is 2,400 miles from Iran.
Diego Garcia hosts the strategic B-1 bomber and is a major U.S. military depot, the Mashregh report added.
The report said the GPS-equipped cruise missile, with a precision fault of less than 32 feet, is equipped with components to counter anti-cruise missile defenses.
Armed with these new weapons, the Iranian navy can attack targets thousands of miles away from home and add to the military might of the Islamic republic, Mashregh boasted, and can even strike the most northern part of Israel from the west.
Ukraine, which had a massive weapons arsenal after the fall of the Soviet Union, admitted in a 2001 investigation that a criminal group within the previous government sold Iran 12 Soviet-era KH-55 cruise missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
The Iranians unveiled several cruise missiles in the last two years, some called game changers in the Gulf as having the capability to sink an aircraft carrier.
As reported last year, Iran has armed all of its vessels with long-range ballistic missiles and plans to navigate into the Atlantic Ocean and near the Gulf of Mexico.
Mashregh said that many of its missiles are in underground silos across Iran, and even if its ships and aircraft come under fire, many of the ballistic and cruise missiles could be launched before the “enemy” can target them.
Addressing the U.S. defense system’s ability to shoot down Iranian missiles, Farahi said, “We hope that nothing would happen. But if any confrontation is to take place, they will see how their claims will turn out to be groundless.”
Iran, with the help of China and North Korea, is also working on intercontinental ballistic missiles under the guise of its space program.
The Safir missile, which transports Iranian satellites into space, can also be used as a ballistic missile, according to the Iranian military. “If one day Iran decides that this missile should be shot parallel to earth’s orbit, the missile will actually be transformed to an intercontinental ballistic missile (that) has the capability to destroy targets in other continents,” Farahi said in an editorial last year.
“In other words,” the editorial concluded, “the fact that Iran currently possesses technology that can put a satellite into orbit means that Iran has also obtained intercontinental ballistic missiles with solid-fuel capabilities and that at any moment this technology can be put to military use.”
Meanwhile, in an interview Sunday with Bloomberg radio, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rebuffed a request by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a clear U.S. “red line” on Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
“We are not setting deadlines,” she said. “(We have) always said every option was on the table, but we believe in negotiation.”
The Islamic regime ruling Iran, despite several sanctions imposed by the U.N., U.S. and the European Union, continues unabated with its nuclear and missile programs while at the same time suppressing its own citizens by imprisoning thousands and executing daily those seeking freedom.
Reza Kahlili translated this Iranian video about Islamic prophecies of a coming messiah and the destruction of Israel:
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).