Iran deploys ballistic missiles within range of U.S. bases in Iraq
Iran has quietly deployed its Shihab-2 medium-range ballistic missiles within striking distance of major U.S. military bases in Iraq. The Shihab-2s, with a range of about 700 kilometers, were moved west from bases near Teheran toward the border with Iraq earlier this year.
Western intelligence sources said Teheran would use the Shihab-2 in case of any U.S. air strike on Iran. Iran would probably not use its aging military aircraft to try to defend air space, they said.
The sources said Iran has acquired the capability to install chemical warheads on the Shihab-2. Iran operates two chemical production plants and has developed weapons of mass destruction warheads for nearly all of its medium- and intermediate-range missiles.
Last week Iran completed its "Holy Prophet" military exercise in the Gulf region with a show of bravado. Still, the sources said, the mullah leadership is more jittery than ever. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has found that telephones and offices in contact with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were bugged. These included the Interior and Foreign ministries and other cabinet departments.
The bugging was probably not the work of the United States. Rival cells within the mullah leadership have been spying on Ahmadinejad.