An Israeli security expert told Jerusalem Post that “Iran’s announcement of an ‘upgrade’ to its short-range Fateh-110 missiles is an implied threat to the US military presence in the Gulf area.”
The report in the Jerusalem Post said that on Tuesday, Iran made upgrades to six weapons, including a short-range missile with a nearly 200 mile range. The Fars News Agency reported that the “six achievements include the fourth generation of Fateh 110 missile, Bonian 4 marine engine, Armita space test laboratory, Aras tactical vehicle, Vafa mortar-launcher, and Shahed navigation system.” Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying that the missile is “one of the most precise and advanced land-to-land ballistic missiles…In the last decade it has had a significant role in promoting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense capabilities.”
Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Project at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, was quoted by the Jerusalem Post saying that Iran’s announcement likely alluded to US interests in the Gulf.
There is currently a U.S. military presence in Qatar and Kuwait which regularly deploys warships and aircraft to the Persian Gulf in what the Jerusalem Post said is part of the United States’ “security commitment to the area.”
Some experts however believe that Iran’s claims of weapons upgrades is usually an exaggeration of its abilities.
Fars News Agency noted that “Iranian officials have always stressed that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.”