Daily Israel Report

Iran Unveils Laser-Guided Smart Munitions

Iran continues to sell itself in the world media as a leading military power amid rising tensions with the West and Gulf Arab states.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 1/30/2012, 8:20 PM

The Iranian Defense Ministry unveiled a domestically developed laser-guided smart bomb in Tehran on Monday.

The new laser guided munitions, dubbed "Bassir," was put on display by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi in a ceremony at Iran's Defense Industries Organization.

Vahidi told reporters the new munitions are capable of targeting static and mobile targets with high precision strike.

"The laser system used in the munitions is able to track and identify targets and locate and assess their distance," Vahidi noted.

He claimed Iran is one of five nations able to manufacture laser guided munitions.

Yesterday, Vhadi told reporters home-made satellite carrier rockets, smart ammunition, aeronautic products, as well as new electronic and telecommunication devices will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

He said that the new products would be unveiled during the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies from February 1 to 11, celebrating the victory of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979.

The minister further announced that the country would unveil a new domestically-manufactured naval surveillance plane and a new cruise missile in the near future.

Iran has sought to publicize military developments as a form of psychological warfare amid rising tensions with the West over its ongoing drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

Saudi intelligence officials, however, have described Iran as a "paper tiger," while Western military analysts say Iran is overselling its new capabilities in the face of a potential strike it cannot effectively answer.

EU and US officials have doggedly pursued sanctions on Iran's oil and banking industries in hopes of curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions, which has led Iran to threaten to close the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz.

The Bahrain-based US fleet has responded that any such attempt would be an "act of war." Both British and Saudi officials have said closing the Strait of Hormuz would force them to act.

Military analysts say Iran, at an asymmetrical disadvantage vis-á-vis the US, would not be able to close the Strait of Hormuz for long and could trigger more extensive strikes on its nuclear program.

Such strikes would likely coincide with strikes on Iran's naval and air forces, as well.