Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Putin isn't buying the Iranian threat

I suppose there's some logical consistency in insisting on building a defense that doesn't work to counter a threat that doesn't exist.
The proposed construction of a missile interceptor site in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, ostensibly to target incoming Iranian ballistic missiles, has enraged Moscow, which believes the system could undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent.

The issue has contributed to the deepest chill in US-Russian relations since the cold war
Putin isn't buying the Iranian threat, and why would he? Iran has neither nuclear weapons, nor the missiles to deliver them:

A July report by the Congressional Research Service said that, as of mid-2007, "Iran has only flight-tested one medium-range missile, the single-stage Shahab-3, having a range of 1,300-2,000 kilometers," or about 1,200 miles. CRS also noted that many experts disagree with the U.S. assessment of Iran's capabilities.

"The international security policy and ballistic missile proliferation community argue that evidence of an Iranian ICBM program is scant and unconvincing," the CRS reported. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also expressed skepticism, and the Iranians said they dropped development of an ICBM, the CRS reported.

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