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Eyeballing Iran? US commissions 361 cruise missiles

US Navy to get 361 new Tomahawk cruise missiles, most of which are meant for Fifth Fleet destroyers based in Bahrain. Meanwhile, pressure to mount military strike against Tehran is permeating presidential campaign.

The United States has commissioned 361 new Tomahawk cruise missiles, and some 238 of them are meant to find their way to the Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, Ynet learned on Sunday.

According to the Business Insider, the deal – inked on the backdrop of repeated deadlocks in the nuclear negotiations between the West and Iran – may suggest that the US is gearing for a possible military campaign against the Islamic Republic.

US defense contractor Raytheon won the deal, for a reported $331 million.

According to the report, the deal – which follows repeated statements by both Israel and the US that "all options are on the table," and in view of Iran's recent naval maneuvers and military exercises – is another sign that "all sides are getting ready for the possibility of military conflict."

The missiles commissioned, the report added, "Will be designed to launch from submarines and the remainder from Navy ships currently operating with the Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain east of Iran."

Similar missiles were used by the US against Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya.

Additionally, the US Navy has commissioned 17,000 advanced submarine detection systems, for a reported $13 million.

'Time to act'

Meanwhile, Washington is still trying to devise diplomatic ways to stem Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities.

Dennis Ross, who served as a special advisor on Iran on the National Security Council, said that the only way to get Iran to suspend its nuclear activities is to make it realize that the threat of war is real. He further suggested "calling Iran's bluff" by offering Tehran civilian nuclear capabilities.

Former Secretary of State James Baker said that should nothing change and Iran does, within one year's time, reach nuclear capabilities, then the US should be the one to lead a strike against it, because it has the necessary force to end Tehran's nuclear program.

The pressure on US President Barack Obama to present a viable military option against Iran is growing, as 44 senators – Democrats and Republicans – demanded the he set clear preconditions for continuing the nuclear talks.
The pressure to mount a military strike is also permeating the presidential campaign: The Emergency Committee for Israel, a neo-conservative organization headed by Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, aired a special spot in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – key states in the presidential elections – urging Obama to strike Iran.

"President Obama has spent four years talking – Iran has spent four year building a secret nuclear site," the video says. "Obama is still talking and Iran has enough fuel for five nuclear bombs. Talking isn’t working – it's time to act."