Iran has over 20 intermediate range missiles that can reach continental Europe. These 20 BM-25 missiles were purchased from North Korea in 2005, which are Soviet SS-N-6 submarine ballistic missiles and have a range beyond 3,000 kilometers. These missiles pose a direct threat to continental Europe. Last week, Iran launched a sub-orbital missile that traveled close to 100 miles into space and declared their intent to launch satellites in the near future. Having orbital satellite launch capability, Iran would have access to deliver payloads to anyplace on earth, as was first powerfully demonstrated 50 years ago by the Soviet Unions launch of Sputnik in 1957.
A third U.S. missile defense site in Europe is for the primary mission of protecting U.S. interests located there from the Middle Eastern region, specifically Iranian missile threats. There are approximately 56,000 United States troops in Europe and Kosovo, countless American citizens, as well as billions of dollars of U.S. military assets. From an allied and NATO perspective, it is of vital importance for any part of Europe and/or NATO forces not to be held hostage or be coerced by Iranian missile threats.
The United States is not seeking, requesting, or funding additional or substitute missile defense sites in Europe, other than the single proposed site in Poland. A missile defense site in Great Britain or outside of Central Europe would be unable to protect all U.S. interests in Europe from an intermediate or long-range Iranian missile and thus would not be a viable option. The east coast of the United States, cities and populations are already protected from potential Iranian long range ballistic missiles by the missile defense site in Alaska. A third site in Poland would not serve as the primary protection against missiles directed at the homeland of the United States from the Middle East.
It is imperative that we, as a nation and as a world, continue to move ahead with urgency to fund, build, and deploy a ground based missile defense site in Poland and the accompanying radar site in the Czech Republic that will defend and protect Europe. This system poses no offensive threat to any nation, including Russia, as it is purely a defensive system that makes use of no offensive weapons, but makes intercepts in space by colliding into the incoming missile at very high speeds.
What the world needs now is real capabilities to dissuade and deter Irans nuclear and missile proliferation for there are too many lives and too many nations at stake.