A story has emerged that cites Mojtaba Zonour of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a "top Iranian defense official", as saying that the joint US/UK base on the island of Diego Garcia is within range of their missiles.
In the event of an irrational attack by the US, America's military bases will not be safe from our missiles, whether in Bahrain or at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
This claim, if true, extends the known range of Iranian missiles by a factor of two. That is an extraordinary advancement in Iranian missile technology. It runs counter to the oft-repeated claims by the Obama administration that negotiations with the radical Islamist regime in Teheran are proceeding well, including claims that economic sanctions are compelling the cooperation of the Iranians.
It is in keeping, though, with the realistic observation that the Iranians are taking us for a ride in these long drawn-out talks, and that they are keeping their options for a nuclear weapons program – and the means for delivery – very much open. The Iranians even say so tauntingly in their own press.
A question to ponder on this announcement: simply having a missile that has an extended range out to that distance (again, if true) is insufficient to make a credible threat. A missile with the throw-weight and range to deliver a weapon must also have the capability for targeting. What technology do they have to ensure that a warhead re-entering the atmosphere can seek out its target with any degree of precision? A conventional warhead, of whatever realistic size, would only provide a large factor of harassment to the base. Why go for broke to deliver such a relatively puny punch? The targeting capability would have to be coupled with a weapon commensurate with such a strategic goal, and that can only be nuclear. Placing a conventional warhead through the figurative window, as we have seen in footage from the recent Iraq wars, is a technology tied to cruise missiles, not ICBMs.
Even if this is simply bluster from the mullahs, it speaks to their intent. Yet we are blithely assured that all is well.