The Ayatollahs' New Toy

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Regular readers of this site will be aware of one particular contributor [ahem] who insists that the Iranians, with their neverending weapons tests, military exercises, and Ahmadinejad as frontman, are running a colossal bluff aimed at holding off international action until they can produce a nuclear weapon (or at least a convincing replica).

Evidence of exactly that turned up this past weekend with the discovery that an Iranian video of a stealthed submarine—launched anti—ship missile dubbed the Sagheb was in fact a copy of a film of a Chinese missile test. Some alert individual compared the two, discovering that every last detail — including the shape of the missile's smoke plume — was identical.

What this implies is that either the actual test failed, requiring a quick ransacking of stock footage, or that there is, in fact, no Sagheb missile at all, despite boasts from Iranian Navy admiral Sajjad Kouchaki concerning the missile's 'very high degree of precision' and 'massive destructive power."

What's interesting is the reaction of our own Defense Department, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, is deliberately low—keying the story out of fear of provoking the Iranians into... what, exactly, is not completely clear. More blustering? Another fake newsreel?

"They have enough things they can do to frighten people," a 'senior defense official' is quoted as saying. "They are frightening enough as it is without faking things."

With this kind of thinking, I don't know why the Iranians even need an A—bomb.

(A former State Department intelligence official reacted otherwise:

'A scream,' Wayne White called the footage. 'Not the kind of thing that would intimidate a military of the capabilities of the United States.")

There's something wrong when Foggy Bottom out—toughs the DoD.
 
What this actually suggests is that is that U.S. intelligence needs to take a close look at all the other Iranian claims of the past several months, starting with their 300—mph rocket torpedo and then moving on to the Azarakhsh, the new fighter that's 'more powerful than an
F—18". (From what I've been able to gather, it's a copy of the old 60s—era Northrop F—5 — not a worldbeater even at the time.)
 
The Sagheb video may well turn out to be the dangling thread that unravels Iran's entire recent chestbeating campaign for what it is. Of course, if that happens, we may well end up having to do something about it. 

And isn't that a scary thought?

J.R. Dunn   9 12 06

Regular readers of this site will be aware of one particular contributor [ahem] who insists that the Iranians, with their neverending weapons tests, military exercises, and Ahmadinejad as frontman, are running a colossal bluff aimed at holding off international action until they can produce a nuclear weapon (or at least a convincing replica).

Evidence of exactly that turned up this past weekend with the discovery that an Iranian video of a stealthed submarine—launched anti—ship missile dubbed the Sagheb was in fact a copy of a film of a Chinese missile test. Some alert individual compared the two, discovering that every last detail — including the shape of the missile's smoke plume — was identical.

What this implies is that either the actual test failed, requiring a quick ransacking of stock footage, or that there is, in fact, no Sagheb missile at all, despite boasts from Iranian Navy admiral Sajjad Kouchaki concerning the missile's 'very high degree of precision' and 'massive destructive power."

What's interesting is the reaction of our own Defense Department, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, is deliberately low—keying the story out of fear of provoking the Iranians into... what, exactly, is not completely clear. More blustering? Another fake newsreel?

"They have enough things they can do to frighten people," a 'senior defense official' is quoted as saying. "They are frightening enough as it is without faking things."

With this kind of thinking, I don't know why the Iranians even need an A—bomb.

(A former State Department intelligence official reacted otherwise:

'A scream,' Wayne White called the footage. 'Not the kind of thing that would intimidate a military of the capabilities of the United States.")

There's something wrong when Foggy Bottom out—toughs the DoD.
 
What this actually suggests is that is that U.S. intelligence needs to take a close look at all the other Iranian claims of the past several months, starting with their 300—mph rocket torpedo and then moving on to the Azarakhsh, the new fighter that's 'more powerful than an
F—18". (From what I've been able to gather, it's a copy of the old 60s—era Northrop F—5 — not a worldbeater even at the time.)
 
The Sagheb video may well turn out to be the dangling thread that unravels Iran's entire recent chestbeating campaign for what it is. Of course, if that happens, we may well end up having to do something about it. 

And isn't that a scary thought?

J.R. Dunn   9 12 06