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Argument: Iran poses a significant nuclear and ballistic missile threat

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Sally McNamara, Baker Spring and Peter Brookes. "Missile Defense: Debunking Arguments Against the Third Site in Eastern Europe". Heritage Foundation. November 6, 2007 - Myth #1: The Iranian threat is not urgent.

In fact, the emerging Iranian threat is nothing less than a race against the clock. Iran is involved in both a long-range missile program and a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Both programs could reach initial operating capability in the 2013-2015 timeframe or even earlier. Pending immediate approval, current projections forecast completion of the Polish and Czech "third site" installations within five years, which is only marginally ahead of Iran's estimated long-range ballistic missile capability and nuclear capability.[3] Moreover, with the possibility of a Manhattan Project-like effort by Iran, supported by countries such as North Korea, Iran's capability may well be realized even earlier than currently expected.

With Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saber-rattling and threatening to "wipe Israel off the face of the earth,"[4] it is incumbent upon the United States to take the growing Iranian threat seriously by taking steps to protect itself, its forward-deployed troops, and its friends and allies.


Peter Brookes. "The Case for European Missile Defense". The Journal of International Security Affairs. Spring 2004 - it is also a race against the clock. The recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the supposedly dormant state of Iran’s nuclear weapons program notwithstanding, the American intelligence community believes Iran could have an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the United States by 2015.3 (Notably, the NIE’s findings are the subject of considerable debate at home and abroad; if its critics are correct, an Iranian missile could be mated with a nuclear warhead by this time as well.) These estimates, of course, do not take into account the possibility of a Manhattan Project-like effort by Iran, which could decrease the time needed to reach initial operating capability for either the missile or nuclear program. Nor do these dates take into account outside assistance, which might accelerate both programs. The most likely candidates for making that happen are North Korea (both missiles and nuclear) or the remnants of the Pakistani A. Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network.

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