Missile Mystery: Hezbollah’s Iranian Nur Missile with English Language Markings

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c802Nur.jpg
An intelligence source of mine in Israel, subsequently confirmed by a Pentagon source has confirmed to TWN that the July 15th missile attack on an Israeli warship was an Iranian-made C802 Nur missile.
This is actually not “new” news. The type of missile was reported the day after the attack. I had just not seen the missile type and confirmation by our intellligence services.
This type of missile was originally designed and produced in China, but the technology was transferred to Iran where this particular missile was produced.
The mystery is not that Hezbollah has sophisticated weapons produced by Iran. The mystery is that this missile was marked in such a way as to make it appear of British and/or American origin.
Strangely, the missile has markings in English language such as “Warning”, “Flat Surface”, and “Do Not Touch”. There may be a logical explanation for the English language markings — but my sources find the markings puzzling and not consistent with other such Iranian produced missiles.
I don’t know the implications of this information — just passing on what I have learned.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

35 comments on “Missile Mystery: Hezbollah’s Iranian Nur Missile with English Language Markings

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    Reply

  2. Phil McCrefiss says:

    Don’t forget, the israelis attacked the USS Liberty during either the 67 or 73 war. They continuously bombarded this ship, flying an american flag, for several hours. This was a signals intelligence ship, and they were able to communicate with all parties, the egyptians, the israelis, even the actual israeli pilots attacking them, but the israelis continued to attack them.
    They will do what ever they feel is necessary in order to “win” — if it means mutilating and slaughtering a few israeli civilians or soldiers to whip up a little outrage, why the hell not? They’re just people, they must be used to the fullest utility, even if that means grinding them up into meat or vaporizing them in a little “bombing” of some sort.
    Same with the “accidental” bombing of the UN observation post. Key word there? OBSERVATION. The village nearby was a target for absolute destruction, and having a UN observer nearby to witness this was just not acceptable. So even though the UN had been in contact with israeli military officials, and the observers themselves had spoken on the phone with the unit commander responsible for “accidentally” bombing them, the accident still occurred. With precision bombs guided by satellite, lasers and high resolution video cameras where you can read the license plate of a vehicle, I find it hard to believe that a bomb can be dropped “accidentally” on a building that is not within 1,000 yards of any military target, unless the guy pulling the trigger has his hands over his eyes when he does it, or hits some “random” key accidentally when entering a GPS coordinate or something.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the damage “inflicted by hesbollah” was actually self-inflicted by israel itself. The reality of all of this is that Lebanon and other arab nations were beginning to achieve partiy with Israel, and that was viewed to be an existential threat to Israel. They orchestrated everything in order to enact a plan that they had every intention of enacting. Even the “kidnapped soldiers” were captured in a town several miles INSIDE Lebanon, not “on the border” like they claim. They stuck those guys out there in order to allow some sort of offense against isreal, either a fight where an israeli soldier would be killed (even if they had to drag a guy into an alley and shoot him themselves), or like happened, a couple of them getting captured for violating Lebanese borders.
    BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Every act israel undertakes is undertaken with the idea that this is the final fight to the death for absolute survival of Israel. Morality, decency, all that stuff has no place in this paranoid, imaginary struggle.

    Reply

  3. Steve Savage says:

    Who cares where the missile came from?
    The USA is busy sending Israel fresh bombs, 95% of israeli technology comes from the USA now, and now israel GRIPES about hezbollah getting foreign weapons?
    How stupid of them.
    Sorry, but thats the way the cookie crumbles in the international weapons trade. BTW the USA is the #1 weapons dealer to the world, not Iran, not Russia, not China.
    Perhpas the problem lies with us.

    Reply

  4. Ed says:

    A red white and blue missle…. Amazing what you can do with Photoshop nowadays.

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  5. Human says:

    A Pentagon and an Israeli source? Same thing pal.
    That’s like Bush repeating what Cheney told him.
    Unless the cameras on board were not on for some reason the hit was recorded. The extent and type of Battle Damage would be another telling factor.
    Peace. It’s possible. Just not with the crazy bastards who are in power now.

    Reply

  6. john mccarthy says:

    Just think, if there is this much confusion, misinterpretation, guesswork and rumor about the missile (exocet, silkworm or sunburn) how the hell will anyone be able to identify the sender of a nuke? Talk about a false flagger…..

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  7. Ben says:

    It’s probably US Defense companies funding both sides, a practice that goes back to the early days of the Rothschild rise to power.

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  8. weet'tbeter says:

    There’s good reason to be skeptical about this story. It’s war and war means propaganda and deception. Israel wants the world to focus on the Iranian weapons. What better way to make a mantra outof it then by starting a discussion about some small detail. For 1) I don’t care where Hizballah gets their weapons from and 2) I’m very skeptical to information supplied by any side in a war. Since most western intelligence agencies have close ties to Israel’s that includes their information.

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  9. Lars says:

    Can we SAY USS LIBERTY PART 2 ?!?!?

    Reply

  10. Dov Goldsilverpearl says:

    It’s probably all nonsense. The ship was destroyed by a homemade remote controlled unmanned aeroplane( i mean even a young boy where ever in the world can buy “technology” to make a perfect drone or UAV), just like the original news told us. It’s far more logic than all the nonsense about all these rockets·

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  11. Dan Kervick says:

    John Stuart wrote:
    “The English markings suggest to my source that Iran considers this an export item.”
    This seems the most straightforward explanation to me. English is the dominant language of international trade. If you are manufacturing any device you hope to sell abroad, you are probably going to print the instructions and warning labels in English.

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  12. Rick B says:

    Let’s say you are an Iranian engineer. You probably speak both Farsi and English. You are working on a missile for export, you aren’t sure where to.
    The markings on the outside of the missile are intended to warn the muscle who will move the missile around out in the field what parts of the missile are delicate. You can expect the missile to get some rough handling, but it would be nice if the handlers didn’t step on the delicate parts. So what language should you tell your painters to write the warning signs in?
    You certainly have templates in Farsi, probably also in English. I’ll bet there is no third set of templates on hand. They’d have to be specially made for Arabic, for example. Chinese might be available, but useless in the Middle East.
    English is the most common second language in the world, to include the Middle East. Occams razor suggests that an intelligent engineer making the decision of how to most effectively paint warnings on the outside of the missile should use English.
    My bet is that the answer is that simple.
    Takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it?

    Reply

  13. YellowStone says:

    They are at war! Right? Why does it matter at this point where they got the weapons from? Afterall, as we speak, we are officially shipping bombs to Israel, a country with already superior military might. I don’t understand this twisted logic that the other party should be denied the right to defend itself.

    Reply

  14. Lydia says:

    Who’s to say Iran doesn’t have its own Office of Special Plans?
    And does this mean that the Israel-Hezbollah conflict is not a proxy war between the U.S. and Iran, but a proxy war between the U.S. and the P.R.C.? How exciting…

    Reply

  15. Ben says:

    Israel has sold many US armaments to countries hostile to the US (including Iran) – ‘technology transfers’ of this type are one of the few thing that Israel does that pisses off the US. Not enough, obviously, but some.
    WRT the missile, I still find it important that the Syrian ambassador to the UK suggested that the US had sold/supplied weapons to Hizbollah, in light of these markings. If, as Steve suggested originally, the markings aren’t just warnings but also include ‘forged’ US serial numbers it really does make me wonder.
    I know the ME is conspiracy theory central, but I just can’t get my head around the implications.

    Reply

  16. Aunt Deb says:

    Didn’t Israel complete an arms sale to China recently, over the rather behind-the-scenes objection of the US? Perhaps a bit of that sale is coming back to haunt them.

    Reply

  17. emptywheel says:

    Pissed Off American, GQ, Ben
    First of all, there is a replacement organization for the OSP. Just because it has changed names, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
    Second, it is inaccurate to say the IC got it right. WINPAC, who still is at the center of most of these judgments, got it wrong–wrong on aluminum tubes, wrong on Niger, wrong on UAVs. Further, it prevented some of the parts of the IC that got it right, such as DOE, from getting the data it needed to prove WINPAC was wrong.
    Finally, I would assume that the intelligence experts we’re getting now are the same quality of intelligence expert opinion before Iraq. Remember–the smart people knew the aluminum tubes were for rockets. But they weren’t allowed–under threat of losing their security clearance–to say so. Only the IC members who were saying what BushCo wanted them to say got to leak.

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  18. Ohiodem1 says:

    Naval incidents are frequently precursors to a justification for war.
    In our history, The sinking of the Maine started the Spanish-American war. In 1915, the sinking of the Lusitania, while not a proximate cause of the American entry to WWI, was an irritant in the oyster. Of course, Pearl Harbor and the Declaration of War first by Japan, then Germany and Italy drew America in from its isolationism. Pearl Harbor certainly initiated War Fever in America, which is natural.
    The Tonkin Gulf Incident with the USS Maddox (which has been reported to be bogus) was the incident which caused the Johnson escalation with tragic consequences for 57,000 American dead and untold non-fatal casualties, not to mention the Vietnam losses, both military and civilian.
    The USS Cole did not start a war, but Clinton bashers think it should have.
    Due to the sinking of a British frigate with an Exocet (after the war had already started) proved that an Exocet could sink a small warship (my perspective of what a small warship is shaded by my service on an aircraft carrier).
    Could the sinking of a warship, (even an Israelli warship) bring the war mongering Bush Administration, using the sinking as a causis belli, as a Naval attack with a significant loss of life on an American ally is an attack on America? Would this be the spark the Neocons need to go after Iran? I hope it doesn’t happen. BTW, I belive an Exocet would have hit its target.
    I wrote an essay called How to Start a War, a survey of war propaganda and it is published on the Questionitnow blog. I posited that Iran was the present object of a long propaganda effort by some in the United States to start a war with Iran. Here is a link:
    http:Questionitnow.com/documents/How_to_sell_a_war.pdf

    Reply

  19. JohnStuart says:

    C 802 Chinese Design/N. Korean Guidance/Iranian Assembly
    Steve,
    my sources tell me that the missile in question was probably assembled in Iran using a combo of CHinese and North Korean technology and componentry. Most of the 802-Cs that Iran bought from China 10 years ago have an inferior guidance system.
    The C-802 fired against the Israeli ship had an improved North Korean guidance system combined with the standard Chinese missile components, suggesting probable assembly in Tehran.
    The English markings suggest to my source that Iran considers this an export item.
    JohnStuart

    Reply

  20. PrahaPartizan says:

    CJ, re your comment at 11:04 PM yesterday, I can see that much confusion exists on this issue. In addition to Wikipedia I was also looking at several other sites to see what GlobalSecurity to see what they might offer regarding photographs, specifications and distribution. It was the press which was pushing the idea that it was a Chinese-designed, Iranian-built version of the Silkworm. Clearly, this disinformation was being pushed by the US neocons so they could discredit both the Chinese and the Iranians to pressure them into stopping their support for Hisbollah.
    The modern MSM is worthless when it comes to expecting them to do any independent research. They rely totally on the spood-feed they get from their government access, which loses value with every passing day.

    Reply

  21. Punchy says:

    I agree with Jerry. Why not put English on it? If it leads to even a smidgeon (sp?) of doubt as to whether this was friendly fire, intentional sabotage (to start war), etc…well, there’s no downside for Hezbollah.
    In the end, they can deny ownership and point to the English markings. While few would believe them, some doubts would linger. Just zero downside.

    Reply

  22. Pissed Off American says:

    POA,
    To be fair–and honest–most people believe that the intelligence community generally got it right but that certain powers that be exaggerated the threats and used known faulty intelligence. Why else isn’t Phase II being pursued by Pat Roberts?
    Posted by GQ
    I agree with that premise wholeheartedly. But the point is that the American people were not fed the ACCURATE intelligence, they were fed the CONTRIVED intelligence. So, I ask you, considering the neopukes designs for Iran, who benefits by this rocket purportedly coming from Iran?

    Reply

  23. Joyce says:

    That, right there, looks like the Wang Dong missile to me that can be up in seconds ready to deliver its load. I’ve faced them before, big time, and they can do some damage to the make-up if taken head on.

    Reply

  24. jerry says:

    I think they just stick the english on there because there’s no downside: maybe they sell it at a higher price, maybe “blame the Americans” is popular and sells – certainly preferable to “blame the Shia Iranians.”

    Reply

  25. Ben says:

    POA – Office of Special Plans, run by The Fucking Dumbest Guy On The Face Of The Planet, no longer exists – the successful blaming of “intelligence failures” on the community as a whole, leading to the establishment of “Death Squad” Negroponte as czar was one of the best wool-pulling exercises carried out in the aftermath of WMD.

    Reply

  26. GQ says:

    POA,
    To be fair–and honest–most people believe that the intelligence community generally got it right but that certain powers that be exaggerated the threats and used known faulty intelligence. Why else isn’t Phase II being pursued by Pat Roberts?

    Reply

  27. swampfox says:

    “I don’t know the implications of this information — just passing on what I have learned.”
    Quite obvious that forces on both sides of the aisle are just itching to find conflict somewhere. The GOP and Democratic establishment are BOTH controlled by the Military Industrial Complex. Sad.

    Reply

  28. Pissed Off American says:

    “This is actually not “new” news. The type of missile was reported the day after the attack. I had just not seen the missile type and confirmation by our intellligence services.”
    Gee, Steve, are these the same “intelligence services” that brought us Iraqi drones gassing the Eastern Seaboard and Saddam’s impending mushroom clouds?
    Man, your naivete is a constant source of wonderment to me.

    Reply

  29. cj says:

    for PrahaPartizan-
    there seems to be a misconception about this missile as being a derivative of the silkworm. wikipedia has a nice bit on it.

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  30. swampfox says:

    Wonder how Nur compares to U.S. supplied missiles & weaponry to Israel—and if they also deliver depleted uranium? The death and destruction in Lebanon should answer that question.

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  31. EEK says:

    Steve- The first thing to suspect is friendly fire. Mr Lind was suspicious of the initial account as I recall, with the observation that a missile like that would have shredded a ship of that type. Since the IAF was in the area and playing with all of their dangerous toys, the possibility of fratricide is increased.
    keep showing the love…..

    Reply

  32. PrahaPartizan says:

    The picture and the commentary don’t make any sense when compared to other sources. The C-802 missile refers to a Chinese version of the Silkworm. The Nur appears to be an Iranian-manufactured version of the French Exocet. The two missiles have quite difference appearances. The Exocet should be considered the much more dangerous of the two, particularly for use against the warships Israel employs.

    Reply

  33. My Self says:

    It is so simple.
    English is the only language to be used, if you buy goods from China or Taiwan.

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  34. My Self says:

    How stupid!
    It is so simple.
    English is the only language to be used, if you buy goods from China or Taiwan.

    Reply

  35. formerDoDlogmgr says:

    Perhaps the Iranians copied the markings off the AIM-54 Phoenix missles that came with the F14s the US sold them years ago. BTW, Iran is the ONLY foreign country to which AIM-54/AWG-9 F14s were ever sold.

    Reply

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