Missile Testing and U.S. Middle East Policy

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Simon Henderson - Missiles are becoming an important part of the military scene in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. At the end of May, Iran conducted a missile test; Pakistan conducted three such tests; and Israel launched a reconnaissance satellite. Iran's missile test involved a variant of the North Korean Nodong, which the Iranians call the Shahab-3. The Shahab's reported 800-mile range makes targets in Israel accessible as well as air bases used by the United States in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Tehran is believed to be using Russian engineers to perfect the weapon. Among those watching Pakistan's first test were at least one prince from Saudi Arabia, and others from Libya. In May 1999, Saudi defense minister Prince Sultan toured Pakistan's unsafeguarded uranium-enrichment plant and Ghauri [missile] production facilities at Kahuta outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Iraq is the only country in the world banned by the UN Security Council from possessing long-range ballistic missiles, yet Baghdad has for three years refused access to UN inspectors seeking to verify its compliance with this agreement.

2002-07-05 00:00:00

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