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Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:43 UK

Mideast press concern at Iran missiles

Screengrab of Iran's Press TV
Iran's English-language Press TV covered the launch

Newspapers in the Arab world and in Israel are broadly critical of Iran for test-firing the Shahab-3 and Sajjil missiles on Monday.

They see it as an act of provocation ahead of talks on its nuclear programme with the five UN Security Council members plus Germany in Geneva on Thursday.

The press link it to the recent revelation that Iran has another uranium-enrichment facility near the city of Qom.

Editorials in two London-based Arab nationalist papers are supportive of Iran, but the Saudi-owned al-Hayat is critical in an article published the previous day. An Iranian conservative newspaper hails the tests as a warning to any potential aggressor.

IRAN'S JAVAN

The staging of the Great Prophet-4 exercise with middle-range missiles is a special message for those who intend to attack the territory of Islamic Iran. The resonant voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran has travelled faster than the missiles, and the audience heard it. The regional media have said that with the kind of missiles that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps tested we are able to see that the Islamic Republic will strongly, continuously and extensively answer any attacks against it.

SMADAR PERI AND ARYEH EGOZI IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

Around the world they know that what we have here is an Iranian show, a flexing of muscles before the opening of talks on the nuclear programme, but when the Iranian show includes launching long-range missiles and the revelation of a secret uranium enrichment facility, the moderate voices in Europe also begin to show signs of worry… The timing of the exercise, a few days before the opening of the dialogue between the Iranians and the American, European, Russian and Chinese teams, is being interpreted as an act of provocation on the part of the Iranian regime.

AMIT COHEN AND AMIR BUHBUT IN ISRAEL'S MA'ARIV

While the citizens of Israel marked Yom Kippur, Iran continued to defy the world and yesterday launched long-range missiles capable of reaching Israel. The new act of provocation comes three days before the talks with the six powers in Geneva on Thursday, and only a few days after the revelation of the secret nuclear installation for uranium enrichment… In the [Israeli] security establishment they claim that the launching of the missiles was only for propaganda purposes. There is nothing new in the launching of the Iranian missiles except propaganda…They do this every year to provoke.

EDITORIAL OF ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

Yom Kippur 2009 bore two pieces of news for Israelis. The bad news was Iran's ground-to-ground missile test. The good news was that the Western powers, led by the United States, are facing off against Iran and threatening to increase sanctions against it following the discovery of a secret uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom. The plant's discovery and the missile launches have made clearer the increasing Iranian threat to Israel… The Iranian threat is not only Israel's problem; it's that of the entire international community. It's best for Israel if the issue is dealt with at the international level.

AMOS HAREL IN HA'ARETZ

All the intensive goings-on concerning Iran must be understood against the backdrop of the opening of talks on 1 October. This is the context for the exposure of the new enrichment facility at Qom, secretly built by the Iranians. And it's the context for Obama's stern statements and for Iran's defiance in holding a military manoeuvre that included launching long-range missiles capable of hitting Europe… But even if the sanctions are approved, will they serve to dissuade a country that has persistently struggled to obtain nuclear weapons for 15 years, now that it is relatively close to achieving the ultimate goal?

YAAKOV KATZ IN ISRAEL'S JERUSALEM POST

Following the disclosure last week of the existence of a secret uranium enrichment facility near Qom, there is a feeling in Israel that the world is now more serious than in the past regarding the need to talk tough with Iran and, if needed, to impose tough sanctions as well…The testing of long-range missiles by Iran on Monday was on the one hand a flexing of Iran's muscles in face of this possibility, but was also a move that will definitely put more world attention on its nuclear programme.

EDITOR ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN LONDON'S AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Over the past few days Iran has surprised the world twice. First, it revealed its new nuclear site in a mountain near the city of Qom... Secondly, it test-fired a number of missiles as part of its military drill, including the Shahab-3, a high-speed ballistic missile capable of reaching targets deep inside Israel.

EDITORIAL IN LONDON'S AL-ARAB AL-ALAMIYAH

The participation of Arabs in any military action against Iran would be suicidal... Weakening Iran would mean removing another power that can currently match Israel's power.

ARTICLE IN LONDON PAN-ARAB NEWSPAPER AL-HAYAT

Iran is approaching the brink of a bomb, or is at the threshold of producing one itself in order to win a deal in the region. This is playing a game between the brink of a bomb, the brink of a deal, and the brink of an abyss. It is a race between a deal and a storm.

EDITORIAL IN KUWAIT'S AL-SIYASSAH

It seems that the Iranian people are doomed to pay a high price for the games of their rulers.
Kumait's Al-Siyassah

In one of the most critical and sensitive moments in the history of the Middle East, and at a time when the world is seeking cooperation in order to face the global economic crunch, the Iranians came up with a new threat by announcing they have another nuclear plant… At a time when Ahmadinejad was speaking about the Shahab-3, Sajjil and Ababil and how they were produced domestically, one of the Iranian jet fighters exploded before his eyes in the military parade held recently to mark Sacred Defence Week… He who fails to learn from the experience of others will pay dearly, and it seems that the Iranian people are doomed to pay a high price for the games of their rulers.

EDITORIAL IN EGYPT'S AL-AHRAM

The Iranian nuclear programme crisis is deepening and threatening more tension in the already volatile Middle East. As Tehran started new war games in a show of power, it also launched two short-range missiles on 27 September and yesterday tested a long-range Shahab-3 missile… There is no doubt that the launch of these missiles just days before scheduled negotiations in Geneva between the six major powers and Iran will make these negotiations tough, particularly because Iran insists on its right to nuclear energy.

RAFIK KHOURY IN LEBANON'S AL-ANWAR

Iran plays it the way the Europeans and Americans play it: reshuffling military and diplomatic cards. The West, which is going to hold talks with Iran in Geneva, threatens more sanctions and talks about keeping the military option on the table if dialogue fails to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis, and Tehran is flexing its missile muscles ahead of the planned negotiations… One of Mussolini's slogans was 'many enemies, much honour'. Of course no one is comparing Ahmadinejad to Mussolini. However, the former said in his speech to the UN General Assembly that he was proud to anger the West.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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