Iran Buys Missiles Capable of Hitting Europe
Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz:
Iran has purchased surface-to-surface missiles from North Korea with a range of 2,500 kilometers, the head of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Branch, Major General Amos Yadlin, said Wednesday. While Iran already possessed missiles capable of reaching Israel, the new weapons pose a threat for countries in Europe and parts of the Middle East that have now come into Iranian range.
Some of the missiles have already arrived in Iran, Yadlin said in a lecture in memory of Israel's sixth president Haim Herzog, who was also head of the IDF Intelligence Branch.
The missiles are known in the West as BM-25s, operate on liquid fuel and are single-stage. The BM-25 was originally manufactured in the Soviet Union, where the first generation, adapted for use by Soviet submarines and able to carry a nuclear warhead, was known as the SSN6. After the Russians retired the missiles from service, they sold them to the North Koreans, who developed them to carry a heavier payload. READ MORE
With this purchase the Iranians have leap-frogged over their Shihab-4 missile with its range of 2,000 kilometers.
Iran worked for years on the development of the Shihab-3, which has a range of 1,300 kilometers, and conducted numerous tests. They also developed a cone with improved ability to enter the atmosphere, which meant it was more accurate.
The fact that the Shihab-3, when fired from certain areas of Iran, could hit Israel, spurred Israel on in its development of the Arrow missile, which can intercept the Shihab-3.
The Iranians are known to be at the early stages of developing two more long-range missiles. However American intelligence sources say Iran is at an advanced stage of developing a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead.
The United States has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the details of the Iranian missile program.
North Korea has longer range missiles that have been tested a number of times outside its borders. In one case a missile flew over Japanese airspace during a test.