Separately, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday that the Arrow has been configured to take down not only long-range missiles but projectiles fired from closer range, such as neighboring Syria or Lebanon. On Saturday, Iran claimed it successfully test-fired an upgraded version of a ballistic missile with such a range that it said could strike with pinpoint precision.
Compounding Israel's concerns are the mounting bloodshed in Syria and growing instability of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Israel fears Syria's arsenals of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of militants should the central government in Damascus collapse, and has threatened to strike those arsenals to keep this from happening. Syria, meanwhile, has threatened to unleash its chemical weapons in the event of a foreign attack.
Israel regards Iran as its main enemy and suspects Tehran is building nuclear weapons despite its denials. Last week, in a public appearance in Jerusalem with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that time was quickly running out to stop Iran from achieving nuclear capability.
Israel is also rattled by Iran's arsenal of missiles capable of striking the Jewish state, its frequent talk of Israel's annihilation, and its alliances with anti-Israel militants in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, who control tens of thousands of rockets.
A former director of the Arrow program, Uzi Rubin, told Army Radio on Sunday that the system could handle any missile coming from Iran.
"I can't say that every incoming missile will be knocked down. There isn't 100 percent protection, and not everything is a success. But for every single missile coming from Iran there is a single Arrow missile capable of intercepting it one for one."