Newsletter : 8fax0730.txt
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Israel Faxx 7/30/98
Iran Missile Eyes 'Nuclear' Israel
Iran's defense minister, addressing the Islamic republic's recent
test firing of a medium-range missile, suggested Tehran's eyes
were firmly on a hostile Israel rather than its immediate
In a commentary Wednesday in the Farsi-language newspaper Iran,
Rear Adm. Ali Shamkhani said the successful launch of the
800-mile-range Shehab-3 missile was integral to Iran's
restructuring of its defense forces.
He denied speculation at home and abroad that the timing of the
test, detected by U.S. spy satellites July 22 and confirmed by Iran
three days later, was motivated by domestic political concerns.
Following the successful launch of the Shabab-3 mid-range missile,
Israel is carefully monitoring the development of the Shabab-4
long-range missile, which will have a maximum range of 1,500 miles.
Israeli and US experts have already pointed out that the missiles
will have the capability of carrying non-conventional warheads, a
fact that has Israel and Western leaders worried. According to
experts monitoring the Iranian progress, the long-range missile
will be a reality within one year, with continued Russian
According to OC IDF Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Malka, the
completion of a long-range missile by Iran would mark the first
time in the State of Israel's 50-year history that the Iranians
would be able to launch a direct assault.
Iran could deploy a long-range missile in two to five years, a
senior US official said. Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk
said the US would increase efforts to curb the transfer of
technology Iran will need to deploy the long-range Shahab 4
The Shahab 3 missile, which is capable of reaching Israel as well
as US soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia, is not yet ready for
deployment. Iran claims the weapon will be used for defensive
Indyk told reporters the Shahab 4 "will present an even greater
threat" than Shahab 3, adding that is was "difficult to imagine"
that the Iranians would give up their goal of developing weapons of
mass destruction, especially as Pakistan and Iraq now possessed
He said that whoever wins the current internal struggle between
Islamic fundamentalists and reformists in Iran, the weapons
acquisition program would doubtless continue.
First of Four Readings Dissolves Knesset
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's parliament has given preliminary approval to a law which
would dissolve parliament and require early elections. At first
look, it appears to be a dramatic repudiation of the Israeli
government's policies. The 120-member parliament voted 60-6 to
But this was only the first of four votes which must be taken
before the motion can become law, a process which can take
several months. If and when the final vote ever comes, the bill
is expected to fail.
On Wednesday, several members of the ruling coalition voted in
favor of dissolving parliament, but most coalition members did not
vote at all. Wednesday's vote was almost entirely symbolic -- a
chance for dissatisfied members of parliament from both the right
and the left to express their feelings in one vote. But in spite
of the anger against it in parliament, this government has shown
repeatedly -- including three times on Monday -- that it can
survive votes of no-confidence.
The more pressing question is what happens now on the key factor
in Wednesday's vote -- the deadlocked peace process. Some
analysts say nothing will happen in talks with the Palestinians
until the parliament returns from its summer recess. But others
say the recess could be the window of opportunity Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu has been waiting for -- a chance to reach and
implement an agreement without parliamentary involvement.
Still, that is more easily said than done. Talks are continuing,
but the Palestinians say all the Israeli ideas presented so far
contradict a US compromise proposal and therefore are not
acceptable. Although Israeli officials say the two sides are not
far apart, they have not been able to agree on several key
issues, including the extent of Israel's next West Bank
Jordan and Israel Plan Joint Tourism Project
Jordan and Israel have agreed to build a joint vacation resort area
between Aqaba and Eilat. The project is expected to cost $400
million and will be financed by the United States. Jordan's Tourism
Ministry said the project will be named "Grand Oasis," and is
scheduled for completion in 2002. The project will include
amusement parks, sports clubs and two boats off the shores of Aqaba
and Eilat, 3.6 miles apart.
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