Iron Dome in Eilat (Tomer Appelbaum)
An Israeli soldier by an Iron Dome battery protecting the Red Sea resort city of Eilat. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Residents of Eilat were startled by the sound of blasts early Tuesday morning, which turned out to be the Iron Dome anti-ballistic system going off, apparently in response to a false alarm. This mishap inspired an Iranian general to heap scorn on the Israeli-invented missile shield, which he called "weak" and inefficient, and accused Israel of bluffing about its abilities.

The supposed malfunction of the system this week, after the failed test, show that Iron Dome "is not only unable to provide security for the (Israeli) occupiers, but the system itself poses a serious threat to the Zionists," General Ramezan Sharif, head of public relations for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, told the Iranian news agency Fars on Wednesday.

Sharif also referred to an "unsuccessful test" of the missile shield, though he didn't elaborate.

There has been much debate about how well Iron Dome works. Writing an opinion piece in Haaretz, Moshe Arens, a former defense minister, clarified that the system cannot be expected to intercept all incoming missiles. There is also some controversy about the cost-effectiveness of the system

The United States does not appear to share Iran's worry about the efficacy of the Dome, a month ago pledging $490 million more for the system, which was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

General Sharif does not elaborate to Fars exactly why he believes Iron Dome to be a fiasco that will wind up intercepting the Zionists rather than enemy missiles. Maybe he's referring to its financial fallibility.