Iran obtained 19 advanced missiles from North Korea, potentially giving the Islamic nation the capability of attacking Moscow and cities in Western Europe, according to embassy cables posted by WikiLeaks.org and provided to The New York Times, reports Bloomberg.
The 19 North Korean BM-25 missiles, based on a Russian design known as the R-27U, might give Iran the “building blocks” for producing long-range missiles, according to a Feb. 24 cable posted on WikiLeaks. The cable didn’t provide specific evidence and Russia calls the missile shipment a ‘myth.’ The Russians noted that Iran has an estimated 100 of the Shahab-3 and a few of the Sejil-2 missiles operational.
Meanwhile, China has dismissed U.S. requests for information on North Korea’s shipment of missile parts to Iran via Beijing, although U.S. officials believe the North has shipped to Iran a number of long-range missiles that could hit Western Europe, Yonhap news agency reported Monday in a dispatch from Washington.
Citing a U.S. diplomatic cable leaked from WikiLeaks devoted to revealing secret documents, The New York Times said China has repeatedly refused to “act on detailed information about shipments of missile parts from North Korea to Beijing, where they were loaded aboard Iran Air flights to Tehran,” according to Yonhap.
According to The Hill, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said that Iran is clearly on a path to building nuclear weapons and that military options have been on military leaders’ minds “for a significant period of time.” Mullen added, “Iran is still very much on a path to be able to develop nuclear weapons, including weaponizing them, putting them on a missile and being able to use them,” [CNN].
The Commander of Iran’s Basij Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, called the remarks by the US military leader “a joke.” Naqdi also said that U.S. forces would immediately be surrounded by Basij forces if it tried to step ‘an inch’ into Iranian territory. Russia Today-TV reports more on the Iranian nuclear issue.