Defiant Iran Arms Itself, Renews Threats on Gulf


Jerusalem, Aug. 5 – Iran announced more military buildup as the Islamic Republic continues to defy U.N. resolutions and international sanctions aimed at stopping its attempt to reach nuclear weapons capability.

Defense officials in Tehran said this weekend they upgraded Mig-29 fighter jets and successfully fired a guided missile that “can hit and destroy both land and sea targets.” This is a thinly veiled threat against American Navy aircraft carriers patrolling the waters in the area that the head of the Iranian navy dismissed as “nothing more than rusty iron.”

Iranian lawmakers warned that their country would shut the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, through which an estimated 40 percent of the world’s oil supply passes, if sanctions against the Islamic Republic increase, the Iranian FARS news agency reported.  Iranian military leaders say they are widening their presence and will deploy “fleets of warships in the Atlantic Ocean.”

Iran is under increasingly harsh economic and trade sanctions by the United Nations over its refusal to allow international inspectors complete access. The International Atomic Energy Agency was blocked from inspecting sites where it concluded activity to produce nuclear weapons was taking place.

Together with the nuclear development, Iran has been accelerating its ballistic missile capabilities and is expected to launch a monkey into space later this month. Iranian launchers are built on North Korean ballistic missile technology, and would put North America within missile range.

In response to the missile development and repeated threats by Iranian leaders for the “full annihilation of Israel,” Israel is accelerating its Arrow defensive anti-ballistic missile system. The Iron Dome system deployed in southern Israel has intercepted dozens of anti-personnel rockets fired by Iran-backed terrorists in Gaza. So far this year at least 530 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel from Gaza.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said last week the Arrow and Iron Dome defensive systems were "designed to prevent wars."

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