POSTED: Monday, September 28, 2009 - 4:42pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm
U.S. Iran tensions increase as Iran test missile capabilities...
Ratcheting up the concern about its nuclear program, Iran Monday fired off a test of the kind of missiles that it could use to deliver nuclear weapons.
The Obama Administration calls the tests provocative and demanded that Iran come clean about its program and shut it down.
This time it was a test of medium range missiles that can carry warheads about 12,000 miles.
That’s far enough to hit Israel or to hit U.S. Bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the weekend, Iran tested its latest shorter range rockets with a range of 200 to 400 miles.
The tests were previously planned, but still send a message.
Just last week, Iran admitted building a secret nuclear facility.
That President Obama says looks like a plant to fuel atom bombs,
and now, the missiles tests.
“It nicely coincides with a message they're trying to send to states like Israel and any other states they're concerned about in terms of a military attack which is kind of to back off, said Deepti Chobey a nuclear security analyst with the Carnegie Endowment.
The White House said Monday the Iranians must back down.
“To engage in full transparency, to demonstrate to the world that it will give up its nuclear weapons program,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
If not, the U.S. will push for tough economic sanctions.
But a senior republican is skeptical.
“The Iranian government will make sure it is their people that are the ones that suffer and they will probably not change their strategy, said republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan.
Iran with nuclear weapons? Get used to the idea, say some experts.
“They're taking multiple paths. They're being deceptive. They intend to end up and will end up with thirty nuclear weapons inside of a decade,” said retired Army General Barry McCaffrey.
And Iran could deliver nukes by missile right now.
All of this focuses intense attention on the meeting with Iran Thursday in Geneva and on president Obama’s policy to talk to Iran.