By all accounts, Iran is moving steadily toward achieving its goal of developing long-range ballistic missiles, which presumably are intended to carry still-to-be-produced nuclear warheads. Israel views this as an existential threat and believes that time is running out to remove the threat, whether by diplomatic negotiation, in which it has no trust, or unilateral military action, which it leans toward even though it involves great risk. How successful Tehran is in its strategic endeavor will probably determine whether Israel--and possibly the United States as well--launches preemptive military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. Such actions, if they come to pass, would likely touch off a conflagration of conflicts across the Middle East the like of which the region, which has endured almost constant war somewhere within its boundaries for the last century, has never seen. That includes missile wars that these conflicts are likely to engender, particularly between Israel and Iran, that would surpass the "war of the cities" during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War that evoked Adolf Hitler's V1-V2 blitz of London in 1944. Iran already has a limited missile capability to strike at Israel, or Western targets across a wide swathe of the Middle East and has threatened to do so if it is attacked. A successful test-firing of its most advanced ballistic missile, the Sejjil-2 (Lethal Stone), on December 16, marked a major step forward. The Sejjil has an estimated range of 1,900km-2,000km, the longest of any of Iran's missiles, and has the most sophisticated guidance system. Iran claimed the intermediate-range Sejjil-2 gives it the capability to retaliate effectively against Israel for any military strike by the Jewish state. The Sejjil remains in the test phase, but James Lewis, a senior defense expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said "they've been putting a lot of money and effort into this program for more than a decade, and we have to take their claims seriously."