This is really scary news: Iran has successfully tested their Sajjil-2 yesterday. Why is this really scary? Because it is a two-stage solid fuel missile, which represents a giant leap in reaching the continental United States. Here's how.
Iran already has the Shahab-3, which is capable of reaching Israel and parts of Europe, like the Sajjil-2. But the Shahab-3 uses liquid fuel, which means two things: First, they have to be fuelled before launch, something that can be detected by spy satellites, so potential targets can take appropriate countermeasures. Second, the liquid fuel is highly corrosive, greatly affecting the accuracy of the missile by destabilising it.
The Sajjil-2 - which is designed to be a weapon payload carrier, not a peaceful space rocket - uses the same kind of solid fuel technology that the United States uses in the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. That means that they can be perfectly accurate, like the Minuteman III is. But more importantly, these missiles can be safely stored and launched with no preparation or warning. Click the big red button, and the birds are on their way one second later.
The new Iranian missile is only a two-stage rocket. That means that they can launch one right now to Israel or Europe, with no warning whatsoever. It also means that, if they add a third stage, they would be able to use these missiles to reach any part of the world, from San Francisco, California, to London, United Kingdom, to New York, New York, that little town blue.