Iran Upgrades Missile System in Response to Israel

According to the AP, Iran said it could mass-produce the Shahab-3 missile, a weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching Israel and US forces in the Middle East. 

"We have reached a point in the field of producing the Shahab-3 missile that we are able to mass produce (it)… like a Paykan car," Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani told state-run television Sunday. 

Iran has produced the missile in response to efforts by Israel to upgrade its own missile system.  Shamkani’s comments about the Shahab-3 follow discussions between Britain, France, and Germany over Tehran’s contentious nuclear program. 

The missile, whose name "Shahab" means shooting star in Farsi, has a range of about 1,300 kilometers (810 miles) and is capable of reaching Israel and various US military bases in the region.  Iran last successfully tested the medium-range missile in 2002 before equipping its elite Revolutionary Guards with it in July 2003.  

Shamkhani did not say yesterday which type of Shahab-3 Iran was able to mass produce, but said the Middle Easter country was able to meet all its armed force’s needs. 

Israel and the United States have jointly developed the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system in response to Shahab-3’s threat. 

Developed jointly by Israel Aircraft Industries and Chicago-based Boeing Co at a cost of more than $ 1 billion (774.5 million euros), the Arrow is one of the few systems capable of intercepting and destroying missiles at high altitudes.  Its development followed the US-led 1991 Gulf War, when Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel.

Many are questioning what this announcement means to the international community in terms of nuclear warfare.