The US test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic Trident missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads from Saudi territory during a joint military exercise last week, a Western military official reported late Wednesday, March 31. debkafile's military sources report this was the first time in Middle East military history that a nuclear-capable missile was fired from the oil kingdom toward the Persian Gulf and Iranian shores. It came in response to Saudi and Gulf Arab concerns over America's failure to halt Iran's evolving nuclear weapon program. DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday will discuss the strategic aspects of this game-changer for Iran and Israel. The official did not reveal the location of the test, the type of submarine used, whether it was successful - or even the scale of US and Saudi strength taking part in the joint exercise. Our sources report they must have been American since Saudi Arabia does not have the units or radar systems for operating multiple-headed ballistic missiles. Regardless of the location - Saudi waters off the Red Sea or its Persian Gulf bases - the drill would have brought the Trident close to the Iranian coastline, either on the Persian Gulf or Arabian Sea.
This demonstration by the Obama administration aimed at showing Saudi and Gulf Arab rulers they are now protected by an American nuclear umbrella against an Iranian nuclear attack. Monday, March 29, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan said Saudi and U.S. warplanes will carry out joint air exercises soon.
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