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Israel Stresses Anti-Missile Test Message To Iran

The Arrow system.
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Feb 12, 2007
Israeli defence officials reiterated Monday that a successful night-time test of its Hetz (Arrow) anti-missile missile system was intended as a clear message to chief enemy Iran. "Last night's test is the answer to the advanced ballistic missiles that Iran develops or buys," Deputy Defence Minister Efraim Sneh was reported as saying by public radio. "In the (armaments) race between Israel and Iran, Israel is ahead at this stage," he added.

The test-firing, the first since December 2005 when the military announced the system was fully operational, was announced by the defence ministry Sunday.

"This test-firing was aimed at checking the functioning of the Hetz at night and in extreme conditions against a ballistic missile," the ministry said. "All the system's components worked perfectly."

"Our anti-missile system is capable in the future of countering Iranian and Syrian threats such as they exist today," Colonel Moshe Fattal, the coordinator of the project for the defence ministry, said.

"I think that Israeli citizens can sleep well knowing we have again proved we can deal with these kind of threats, as well as future threats," he added.

Public radio said the missile firing was designed to imitate Iran's Shahab-3, which has a range sufficient to reach Israel.

The firing coincided with the Iranian regime's celebrations for the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic revolution.

For the first three years after its launch in 1988, the United States paid 80 percent of the Hetz project's cost, but now the costs are shared equally.

Since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the project's primary focus has been Iran, which Israel now sees as its main threat.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Deployment Of US Missile Defense Could Trigger New Arms Race
Munich (RIA Novosti) Feb 10, 2007
Deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Central Europe could trigger a new spiral of the arms race, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday. Putin told an international security conference in Munich that the reasons the U.S. cited in favor of deploying a missile defense system in Europe are not convincing enough, as launching North Korean ballistic missiles against the U.S. across western Europe would be in conflict with the laws of ballistics.

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