The U.S. and Israel are both responding to dangerous new escalations from Iran, this week, in the form of a new ballistic missile and reports on the construction of a potentially bomb-proof underground nuclear facility.
The Kheibar missile, named after an ancient Jewish fortress conquered by Muslims, is capable of reaching Israel. Iranian defense officials say it can penetrate enemy air defense systems and evade radar detection. To the West, it's considered a dangerous move that can't be ignored.
"Despite the restrictions on Iran's missile-related activities under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Iran continues to seek a range of missile technologies from foreign suppliers and to conduct ballistic, ballistic missile tests in defiance of the resolution," said State Dept. Spokesperson Matthew Miller.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Forces keep close watch on all areas of Iran's nuclear development. A top general, recently stated that Israel could soon be left with no choice other than a pre-emptive attack.
"Iran knows it's playing with fire and they are getting close to what both Israel and the United States are basically messaging is their red line where they won't allow Iran to go any further," former State Dept. Special Advisor for Iran, Gabriel Noronha tells CBN News.
In what appears to be an effort to gain the upper hand against the West, Iran is reportedly building a nuclear facility deep underground. While it's unclear whether U.S. bombs could reach it, the Air Force recently posted a picture of the GBU-57, a bomb designed for such a purpose. The caption, adding that it's time to test its performance.
"Just how far each weapon goes, and just how far into the mountain Iran is digging, are going to be closely held secrets by both nations...they don't want to give the other country the upper hand and give them the ability to know whether their strike would work or not," said Noronha.
He says although diplomacy is not completely off the table, at this point, it doesn't seem to be headed anywhere. Noronha believes to truly sway Tehran, the Biden administration must threaten consequences the Islamic regime won't risk.
"The United States, now, is starting to get more serious about those messages. And I think that picture of 'Bunker Buster Bombs,' is part of that strategy, and you need to see a lot more of that rhetoric and seriousness coming from both the administration as well as Congress," Noronha said.
He warns it would be a mistake to underestimate the Iranian regime.
"The country that chants, 'Death to Israel,' and, 'Death to the United States,' should be taken seriously. I think one of the mistakes made throughout history is not believing dictators when they make a promise in public," said Noronha.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran is already enriching uranium to near weapons-grade levels, but the country has yet to announce that it has built a nuclear weapon.
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