Tensions in the Middle East remained high over the weekend, as the Iranian military tested short-range and surface-to-surface missiles
in what appeared to be further defiance of the international community. The tests also sent a message to Israel and Western nations that have been openly questioning Iranian interest in acquiring nuclear production capabilities.
While Iran has insisted that its nuclear ambitions are for peaceful energy-generating purposes, the missile tests - coming as they are just two days after U.S. President Barack Obama disclosed the existence of a second and more secretive underground nuclear facility - offer a reminder to the world of Iran's military capabilities.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "grave concern"
over the disclosure, and the international community has become increasingly united in its criticism of Iran's objectives.
Iran announced its intent to continue with its missile tests, moving to mid-range missiles on Sunday evening and to new "upgraded long-range missiles" on Monday. The mid-range varieties are believed to be capable of reaching targets within Israel. The tests on Monday coincide with the holy Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, an echo of the 1973 Arab attack on Israel.
The missile tests come just days before a scheduled high-level meeting between Iran and the U.S. on October 1. It is unclear whether or not that meeting will move forward.
"The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful (nuclear) program," Obama said at the G20 summit on Friday. "Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow, endangering the global nonproliferation regime...and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world."