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Iran missiles sharpen aim with U.S. technology

World Net Daily | August 20 2004

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps last week demonstrated the integration of a system that turns the Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile from a flying metal tube into a deadly weapon against Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

The Shihab-3's problem has not been its range, but its accuracy. With a range of 1,400 kilometers, it can reach anywhere in Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

But the missile, based on the North Korean No Dong, was not accurate.

The Iranians appeared to have changed all that. Tehran has procured and integrated a Chinese missile navigation system into the Shihab-3 apparently based on the Global Positioning System, or GPS.

In one test, the Iranians skipped a generation in technology and posed a threat to U.S. interests throughout the Middle East.

As WorldNetDaily reported, in 1995, the Clinton administration approved the sale of GPS technology directly to a company owned by the Chinese Air Force.

"The Iranians wanted to overcome the lack of accuracy in their missiles so they didn't have to target cities," a U.S. intelligence source said.

"Although the Iranians talked tough, targeting cities posed a political problem for them. Now the Iranians can strike Israeli military and U.S. military targets in Iraq if Teheran's nuclear weapons program is struck. Naturally, the Iranians are ecstatic."

The Shihab-3 could incorporate a nuclear weapon and Teheran has been working hard to develop its first indigenous atomic bomb. Iran has been getting plenty of assistance from China, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia.

North Korea has been the greatest of help, and many in the U.S. intelligence community have concluded that Iran and North Korea have informally linked both their long-range missile as well as nuclear weapons programs.

The next step will probably be a launch of the new Shihab-3 missile. This could occur in a few weeks if the Iranian leadership feels it would help deter Israel and the United States. Stay tuned.