WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) (www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org) issued a statement to the MDAA membership explaining the significance of Iran's launching of a satellite on Feb 2, 2009. Ellison described the history of Iran's development of this capability and how it is a technological step to the development of a fleet of long-range ballistic missiles. His comments are as follows:
"Iran's historic first successful space launch on February 2nd, placing its domestically grown satellite 'OMID' into an elliptical orbit around the Earth which has reached heights of 224 miles and speeds of 4.6 miles a second, is currently being tracked by JSPOC (14th Air Force) at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. OMID has made multiple overflights of the United States and will continue to do so."
"This significant event and milestone for Iran has unequivocally demonstrated the key technical attributes to deliver a payload into orbit and the mathematical ability to release that payload at any chosen point around our planet. Specifically, Iran demonstrated the key attributes of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in its space launched vehicle (SLV). The Islamic Republic of Iran technically validated and proved the use of multiple staging, propulsion, and precise guidance and control to deliver a payload into orbit. Even more impressive is Iran's national will to develop and launch this remarkable technical feat despite decades of encompassing international sanctions, the diplomatic efforts from the international community, isolation and international arms control treaties that were put in place to prevent this type of breakthrough. This event has surprised Russian Generals who have recently told American Generals that 'Iran will never achieve this capability in our lifetime.'"
"Iran, with its new knowledge and demonstrated performance capability of its SLV coupled with its already-existing industry base that has produced close to a 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles will scale up production over the next year to two years to produce ICBMs capable of striking any target around the world Iran deems necessary for its national security. Every major city in the United States and Europe could be targeted with a warhead and if Iran continues unabated to develop a nuclear weapon, that warhead would be a weapon of mass destruction."
"In addition to Iran yesterday, South Korean and Japanese media stated that signs have been detected in North Korea of launch plans for the ICBM Taepodong-2. The Taepodong-2 has a 4,500km range that can strike Hawaii and Alaska."
"The time is now, to accelerate our country's deployment and development of missile defense both domestically and internationally. We as a nation and a world cannot be held hostage by an Iranian or North Korean long-range ballistic missile with a weapon of mass destruction targeted at one or more of our cities. Furthermore, deployment of missile defense renders Iran's and North Korea's future ICBMs useless and dissuades Iran and North Korea from investing and building these long range missiles while increasing stability in the region with our allies and giving our diplomatic initiatives more time to succeed."
"Our nation's military has requested 54 defensive ground-based long-range missiles for our national security against North Korea and Iran. 10 of those 54 are to be placed in Poland to defend Europe from Iranian ballistic missiles. Today, only 25 of those missiles are deployed, 3 of them in California and 22 of them in Alaska."
Ellison closed his remarks with this statement: "Missile defense is an option that President Obama must have to protect and defend our nation and the world from Iran and North Korea."
Riki Ellison is available for on-the-record interviews, and can talk about Iran and North Korea and their goal of developing long-range ballistic missiles that are capable or reaching the United States and all of its allies. Call Mike Terrill at 602 885-1955 to arrange.