Regardless of intelligence uncertainties and unknowns about Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, we know enough now to make a prudent judgment that Iran should be regarded by national security decision makers as a nuclear missile state capable of posing an existential threat to the United States and its allies.
On Jan. 22, The Jerusalem Post reported that Iran deployed a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe.” It was also shown on Israeli television.
Iran’s development of an ICBM at this time would be consistent with unclassified U.S. intelligence community reports that in 2013 warned Iran could test an ICBM by 2015.
Iran and others claim the missile is not a military ICBM for delivering nuclear warheads but a peaceful Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) for orbiting satellites
This is a distinction without a difference.
Iran has a demonstrated capability to orbit satellites weighing over a ton, which means it could also deliver a nuclear warhead against the U.S. or any nation on Earth.
Indeed, Iran has orbited several satellites on south polar trajectories passing over the western hemisphere from south to north, as if practicing to elude U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars and National Missile Defenses, which are oriented to detect and intercept threats coming from the north.