US-Israel Team To Battle Iran Missiles

07 May 2021

US-Israel Team To Battle Iran Missiles

By  Arie Egozi

May 7, 2021


TEL AVIV: White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat have agreed to establish an interagency working group to focus on the threat from Iran’s precision-guided missiles being shared with Hezbollah and other allies.

Israeli defense sources told BD that while the Trump Administration focused on how to stop Iran’s gallop towards a nuclear bomb, the issue of Iran’s precision ballistic missiles has been ignored. Israel has reportedly launched at least 200 strikes against Iranian weapons shipments in recent years.

The reaction here to news of the new group was: “Too late, too little.”

“Now the issue is again on the table but it’s too late. If you look at some of the new Iranian ballistic missiles you can see that there are small winglets attached to the fore section of the missiles. This is part of the mechanism that gives these missiles greater accuracy ” a top Israeli expert said on condition of anonymity told BD.

“Senior U.S. officials stressed the (nuclear) talks were focused exclusively on resolving concerns about Iran’s growing nuclear program—not, for example, on its support for terrorism, behavior in the region, or human rights practices.” according to a study by the DC-based Arms Control Association,

During the long negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the parties avoided contentious issues outside the nuclear realm in the belief that resolving the nuclear imbroglio was the highest international security priority. Including other issues could overload the agenda and jeopardize reaching any agreement, diplomats felt.

CSIS graphic

Types of Hezbollah missiles (2018 Graphic by Center for Security & International Studies)

The attack by the Houthi rebels from Yemen on September 14, 2019 using precision missiles and drones on the world’s largest refinery of the Aramco company in al-Bakik in Saudi Arabia, event illustrated to the US and Israel the dangerous capabilities of Iranian precision missiles and drones.

According to updated estimates, Iran has 3,000 precision ballistic missiles with various ranges. These missiles pose a direct threat to US bases in the Gulf and to military bases and strategic facilities in Israel. The head of Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said recently that “ballistic missiles are the greatest danger on Iran’s part. They have become more accurate, which is of great concern.” Mackenzie stressed that the US needs more time to assess Iran’s missile capabilities.

Senior Israeli political sources said recently in private talks that the Biden government does not intend to take military action to deal with the danger of the ballistic missiles held by Iran and its affiliates. “The administration’s efforts to end the war in Yemen have failed, and the Houthi rebels continue to attack Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and drones,” one of these sources noted.

The U.S and Israel have conducted joint exercises to protect Israel should it come under a massive ballistic missile attack launched by Iran. For example, the US deployed its advanced THAAD missile defense system in March 2019.

“This cooperation with the U.S is very good but if Iran starts launching ballistic missiles on Israel until an American assistance arrives the defense mission will be only by the Israeli systems” one of the defense sources said. Israel in such a scenario will hit back with all its arsenals but the proliferation of the Iranian made ballistic missiles will make the mission very complicated ” the top Israeli expert said.