Iran conducted a test launch Tuesday night of the Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which is capable of reaching Israel and US targets in the region, Israel Radio reported. The test came hours before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with US President George W Bush in Washington to discuss the Iranian threat.
Military officials said it was not clear if this most recent test indicated an advance in the capabilities of the Shihab 3. They said the test was likely timed to coincide with the Washington summit and with comments made by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah during celebrations in Beirut marking the 6th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
From SpaceNews Daily here on the possible Missle sites in Europe:
Although Whitman would not say whether the move is aimed at Iran, Washington clearly views Tehran as the top US threat in the Middle East.
It comes amid a mounting confrontation with Iran over a uranium enrichment program that Washington believes is aimed at developing fissile material for nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programs are for power generation.
Iran in April said it had tested a new generation medium-range missile featuring multiple warheads and radar-evading technology. Pentagon officials were skeptical of the claims.
A senior US defense official told AFP last year the European site could be very similar to the US site in Fort Greely, Alaska where half a dozen ground-based missiles are positioned to intercept potential long-range missile attacks from North Korea.