Sunday, July 13, 2008

More on Iran's missile test deceptions

From the New York Times:
Iran’s war games this week featured more bluff and exaggeration than displays of menacing new power, military analysts said Friday.

The half-truths, the analysts said, included not only a doctored photo of a salvo firing but also misleading statements about the range of the largest missile and two videos that made the firings seem more numerous and fearsome than they really were.

“Deception was rampant,” said Charles P. Vick, an expert on the Iranian missile program at, a research group in Alexandria, Va. “The bottom line is that the Iranians are tweaking our noses.”

The missile firings on Wednesday and Thursday shook the oil markets, helping drive up the price of crude to a record of more than $147 a barrel on Friday from $136 on Wednesday. That rise, if sustained, would mean billions of added dollars for Iran, one of the world’s top oil exporters. ...

Aside from the theater of the missile firings and the prospect of windfall oil revenues, Mr. Allison said, “the question is, Does this represent any significant advance in any relevant military capability to do any damage? And I think the best judgment is, no.”

The Iranians, he added, “have a history of puffing out their chests and pounding on them.” ...

Overall, Mr. Vick concluded, the two days of missile firings represented no escalation over what the Iranians have done before in previous tests.

“I remain unimpressed,” he said.

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