On July 3, Iran claimed to have successfully tested missiles capable of hitting Israel. At the same time, Israel said that it could strike Iran if the efforts at diplomacy fail to stop it from developing nuclear weapons capabilities. Calling it the “Great Prophet 7” missile exercise, Iran launched its test on Sunday after the European embargo against Iranian oil went into effect. In invoking the name of the Prophet Muhammad for their missile test, there should be no questions to anyone, including President Obama, that the Iranian leadership are extremists, and seemingly willing to head into a devastating war to impose what it interprets to be the will of God and prophet. Neither money, nor sanctions can alter divine will, and that is what those who tread lightly with Iran seem to miss.
To be clear, the Shahab 3 missile with a range of 800 miles is able to reach Israel. Fit a nuclear warhead on that and there is nothing to stop them from trying. Referring to Israel, and ignoring the irony in its own rhetoric when it says it will wipe Israel off the map, Revolutionary Guard Deputy Commander Hossein Salami said, “The maneuvers are an answer to the rude words spoken against Iran.”
On another front, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish warplane on June 22. The incident has put deeper strains on its relationship with Turkey, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has expressed regrets for the incident hoping to stay a more forceful hand from Turkey, whose Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to Syria as a “clear and present threat.”
While Syria continues to slaughter its citizens, Israel has stayed away from the situation, yet Assad suggested that Syrian troops may have mistaken the Turkish jet for an Israeli plane.