Israel tests Arrow interceptor missile

Biden says Israel “ill-advised” to attack Iran


Israel carried out a test launch of its Arrow II interceptor missile on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry reported while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the new Israeli government would be "ill-advised" to attack Iran.

The Arrow intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile comparable to Iran's Shahab-3, which can reach the Jewish state, that was fired by an Israeli fighter plane over the Mediterranean, a defense source said.

Israel Radio said it was the 16th test launch of an Arrow. The defense source said 90 percent of those tests have been successful.

It was the latest successful test of the Arrow, a project launched in 1988 as part of the then Star Wars program under late U.S. president Ronald Reagan that was abandoned in 1993.

The project is jointly funded by Israel and the United States to serve as a strategic shield against ballistic missiles in the arsenals of Iran and Syria.

At least two Arrow batteries have been deployed in Israel, which has been testing the system to improve its performance at high altitudes and against multiple incoming missiles.

Israel fears that Iran's uranium enrichment program is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, an allegation Tehran denies.

Israel “ill-advised” attacking Iran

Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday the new Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be "ill-advised" to attack Iran, but stressed that it was unlikely to do so.

"I don't believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that. I think he would be ill-advised to do that," Biden said in an interview with CNN, when asked about possible Israeli strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

"My level of concern is no different than it was a year ago," he added.

Presenting his new government to Israel's parliament a week ago, Netanyahu alluded to an eventual nuclear-armed Iran as the biggest threat to his Jewish state.

"The biggest danger to humanity and to Israel comes from the possibility of a radical regime armed with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said, making clear his remarks were aimed at Iran.

Biden’s remarks come after Israel tested today an anti-missile system designed to intercept any Iranian rocket attacks, the Jewish state’s Defense Ministry said.

Israeli leaders have repeated that Iran is the biggest threat to their country and warned that if the Western diplomacy fails to halt Iran’s nuclear program, it would be compelled to act on its own.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters after he took office that stopping Iran from developing a nuclear is more important than the means of doing so.