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The meaning of Iran's missile tests
Is Tehran itching for a fight, or ready to talk?
 

What happened
Iran fired a fresh volley of test missiles overnight, according to Iranian news reports Thursday, a day after the test firing of a long-range Shahab-3 and other missiles in the Persian Gulf region. (CNN.com)

What the commentators said
“Without question, this latest round of saber-rattling wasn't just routine defense drills,” said Peter Brookes in the New York Post. It was meant to “posture and provoke,” and this “chest-beating” proves that Iran’s mullahs have no intention to abandon their quest for a nuclear bomb.

It’s hard to read the mixed signals from Tehran, said David Ignatius in The Washington Post. Even as the Iranians “brandish the weapons of war,” they are “signaling that they want talks with the West—and hinting that they are ready for a serious dialogue with the Great Satan in Washington.”

Honestly, does anyone really believe that Iran’s missiles aren’t already a threat? said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. “Iran may already have the capability to target the U.S. with a short-range missile by launching it from a freighter off the East Coast.” And these latest tests show the U.S. and Europe need to get serious about deploying an antimissile system with global reach.

Let’s play into Iranian hardliners’ hands by inflaming the situation with “loose threats,”said the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in an editorial. The world should certainly use sanctions and incentives to get Iran to stop enriching uranium, but intelligence reports say it has already suspended its nuclear weapons program. "As bleak as the situation looks, Iran can still be brought in from the cold.”

 

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