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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Revelations on Iran's Missile Program & Reorganizations of
Iran's Defense Ministry and IRGC

Statement by

Alireza Jafarzadeh

President, Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc.

National Press Club, Washington, DC
September 26, 2008

Good Day Ladies and Gentlemen,

According to the latest intelligence from Iran, the Tehran regime is extending and expanding its warmongering, terrorist agenda. Realizing that this scheme inevitably leads toward confrontation with the West, Tehran has also embarked on a large-scale overhaul of its military. The information being made public today has been compiled inside Iran by the network of the People's Mojahedin of Iran, the pivotal force of the Iranian resistance. Resistance sources have gathered intelligence from within the regime's various agencies, and made their findings available.

The information being made public today has been compiled inside Iran by the network of the People's Mojahedin of Iran, the pivotal force of the Iranian resistance. Resistance sources have gathered intelligence from within the regime's various agencies, and made their findings available.

The major changes are:

  • Relocation of the Ministry of Defense (MOD)
  • Reorganization of the Missile Unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)
  • Replacement of the Commander of the Air & Space Organization

Relocation of the Ministry of Defense

According to reliable information, nearly a month ago, the location of the MOD was changed from Shariati Street in the Seyyed Khandan area of Tehran to Langari Street, north of No-Bonyad Square, previously the location of Eaz Iran Company. The current address of the Ministry is:

    Pasdaran Avene, No-Bonyad Square, Shahid Langari Street after the Chamran residential complex

The MOD'S new location is a very large area and its office buildings are scattered. There is no central building or complex; the buildings are spread sparsely throughout the site. Its location has been kept secret by the regime and all personnel have been ordered not to give out the address. The Ministry's Security Intelligence bureau has adopted tough measures to prevent any leaks.

According to my information, the Organization of Social Services for the Armed Forces is now housed in the MOD'S old location in Seyyed Khandan.

Special Role of Missiles in the Regime's Strategy, and Recent Changes

After engineering Ahmadinejad's rise to the presidency in June 2005, the regime's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, set about developing a strategy compatible with the new uni-polar make up of the regime's leadership. He issued an executive order to create the IRGC Center for Strategic Research, and appointed an IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari to head it. Within two years Jafari had developed the IRGC's new strategy, a fundamental pillar of which, according to Jafari, is increased missile strike capabilities.

On September 1, 2007, Khamenei promoted Jafari to the equivalent of a four star general and appointed him IRGC Commander in Chief so that he could implement the very strategy he had developed. Since then, Jafari has dedicated special resources to increasing the regime's missile capabilities.

Changes within the Missile Unit of the IRGC

According to my information, to strengthen the missile unit, the regime has opted to turn it into an independent unit reporting directly to the IRGC commander. The plan also calls for increases in the number of ballistic missile units.

Change in Command of the Air & Space Organization (ASO)

Almost a month ago, Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi was replaced as commander of the Air & Space Organization by IRGC Commander Mohammad Farrahi, one of the core officers of the IRGC's new strategy. The ASO is an agency of the Ministry of Defense. Farrahi previously was the head of the Organization of Defense Industries. The regime has not yet announced this change.

Continued Military Missile Tests Depicted As Satellite Launch Tests

One aspect of the regime's missile program involves conducting missile tests under different covers, in order to advance its technology and manufacture of ballistic missiles. On August 17, 2008, the regime announced that it had launched a missile carrying a satellite named "Safir Omid" (Messenger of Hope). Ahmadinejad was present at the launch. The regime has tried very hard to depict this launch as indicative of its progress in science and research.

According to information from within the regime, the Messenger of Hope project is entirely military in nature and its completely handled by the Air & Space Organization of the Ministry of Defense. Defense Minister Mohammad Najjar is personally supervising the project, and Ahmadinejad is intimately following its progress.

To keep the military nature of this missile launch a secret, all ASO personnel had been ordered to wear civilian clothing. All photos of public figures known for their military backgrounds had been confiscated by the Security Intelligence Bureau of the MOD. The regime falsely claimed the satellite program was handled by the National Space Organization of the Ministry of Communications.

The missiles are manufactured by Hemmat Industries in Tehran, which is the central location for the manufacture of ballistic missiles, including the Shahab-3 and Ghadr Missiles.

Messenger of Hope Missile Launch Site:

The Messenger of Hope missile launch site is located on a military base of the Air & Space Organization. It is 70 kilometers after Semnan in the direction of Kavir. (The regime previously used this site for testing on the Shahab missile.) The facility consists of several larger halls, a command room, and the missile launch pads. In addition to the missiles that have been launched, there is a prototype in the hall, which has been viewed by Ahmadinejad.

Type of Missile and Launch Pad

The Safir missile that has been launched is a variation on the regime's military ballistic missiles (the Shahab 3 and Ghadr). By making some alterations, the regime is trying to portray it as a new, non-military missile, going so far, according to sources within the regime, as to paint the missiles so as to conceal the military nature of the project.

The missile is first hauled to the launch pad by means of a launcher and after being readied on the pad, is fired into space. The launcher for this missile is mounted on trucks usually used for Shahab 3 firings. The firing system has been censored in all of the photographs published. Sources within the regime say that the images of the launcher are being kept secret to prevent sales of this particular type of truck from being prohibited to the regime.

The Results of the Missile Firings

The available reports indicate that the missile launch was not successful and the missile did not reach the desired orbit. The initial plan was to announce having successfully reached the earth's orbit an hour after the launch, but that did not happen. Later, however, the state-run media was issued a directive to announce that the test had been successful.

The initial reports and state propaganda prior to the launch claimed the missile was carrying a satellite, to conceal the purely military nature of the test. It was, however, evident from subsequent reports that there was no satellite.

At the launch site, tough security and intelligence measures were put in place. Even trusted reporters were told to refrain from talking to their families about the test. All reporters' cameras were confiscated and only a limited selection of photos was released to the state-controlled media.

Details about the Center for Manufacturing and Ballistic Missiles and Shahab-3

Tehran is actively pursuing the ballistic missile program including the Shahab-3. These missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads and some of the new designs have a range of up to 2000 km.

The Khojir region, in southeastern Tehran, south of Damavand Rd., is the location for producing the regime's ballistic missiles, including Shahab-3 missiles.

I revealed information before about Hemmat Industrial Group and the center of production of missiles in the Khojir region but what I would like to do today is provide more specific details about this industry which comes from more than two years of investigation by the PMOI network inside Iran. I would like to remind you that as a result of the secrecy of this place and the strict security rules and regulations, even some of the personnel that work in these sections are not aware of other sections.

The Air and Space Organization of the Iranian regime has seven groups of Industries, and in the Khojir region, the production divisions for three of these groups are located, namely Hemmat Industrial Group, Bakeri Industrial Group, and a limited part of the Ya-Mahdi Industry. Among the three groups, "Hemmat Industrial Group" is considered to be the most important one in building missiles at the Air and Space Organization.

It should also be reminded that the Hemmat Industrial Group is on the list of UN sanctions.

The command center of the Hemmat Industrial Group is located at the Hakimiyeh region, and the address is as follows, Tehran No Street toward Ab-Ali Highway intersection of Azmayesh, Lashgarak Highway, and its plant is on the south of the Babai highway at the Khojir region. At the east side of this road is the Air and Space Industry and the Mechanical industry. Hemmat Industries is located in the most Northern of these sections. The production section of Hemmat Industrial Group is also located at the Khojir region. Production is going on inside the secret tunnels located inside mountains of this region. Even the office buildings of production section are built underground.

Hemmat Industrial Group is comprised of several divisions, which due to the secrecy surrounding their functions, are identified with codes. These codes are as follows:

    a) Kalhor Industry, code 1500, responsible for launchers.
    b) Karimi Industry, code 2500, responsible for the missile's fire chain.
    c) Cheraghi Industry, code 3000, responsible for fuel production.
    d) Rastegar Industry, code 4500, responsible for missile engine production.
    e) Varamini Industry, code 6000, responsible for the guidance and control systems of the missile.
    f) Movahed Industry, code 7500, responsible for the building of the body and final assembly of the missiles.
    g) Nouri Industry, code 8500, responsible for the building of warheads.

First: Nouri Industry (Building of Missile Warheads)

The most sensitive part of the above divisions is the (Alireza) Nouri Industry, code 8500. It is responsible for building warheads of Shahab missiles. As a result of the sensitivity, which you can see from the picture, it is a military site and is completely protected. The site has its own watch towers and all of the roads to the site are closed.

Nouri Industry is currently cooperating with the Mojdeh site on building nuclear warheads.

The location of Nouri Industry is on the northern hillside at 1721 meters elevation. According to the obtained reports from inside Iran, there are large underground tunnels at this site. In accordance with the geographical classification of the Khojir region, the site's location has been coded as Bl.

The director of Nouri Industry is an engineer identified as Naeemi. An individual in charge of the research section of Nouri Industry is identified as Aram, and the mullah in charge of the political and ideological section is Rostami.

Dr. Mehdi Naghian Fesharaky who is in charge of the nuclear warhead design and works with dozens of other regime's experts, visits this division frequently.

Second: Movahed Industry (Final Assembly of Missiles)

The final stage of building a missile takes place at Movahed Industry, code 7500. They have assigned code B2 to the location of this site. Movahed Industry is located at the largest tunnel complex in Khojir. The tunnel is over 1000m in length and 12m in diameter, and has been branched into six 500m sections. This tunnel is located in the central region of Khojir in the north of the top of the hill 2224 on the map. In addition to the building of Shahab-3 missiles, there is also work being done in this tunnel on various other ballistic missiles, such as the Ghadr missile.

This tunnel is equipped with advanced facilities capable of underground work including sophisticated fire alarms, fire extinguishers, air conditioning, and boiler rooms, anti-explosion systems for tunnels, surface water disposal systems, and air filtering systems.

In addition to workshops concerned with missile manufacturing, this complex also houses the finished missiles until they are transferred to IRGC centers.

The director of the Movahed Industry is (Haji) Saleh.

Third: Varamini Industry - 6000

Varamini Industry, code 6000, is tasked with building the guidance and control systems of ballistic missiles.

The production plant of the Varamini Industry is located at the Khojir region, in a location designated as Al.

The director of Varamini Industry is an individual identified as Forusi.

Fourth: Rastegar Industry - 4500

Rastegar Industry, code 4500, is tasked with building missile engines. PS location is at the end of the Hemmat site, and has specified areas for testing engines.

The director of this division is Khorashadizadeh, and an engineer identified as Farahani is his deputy.

Fifth: Cheraghi Industry - 3000

Systems Test Static Test Firing Center Cheraghi Industry, code 3000, is tasked with producing missile fuel. It has two areas in the Khojir region. One of them is located passed the first square branching off to two roads, on the left, within a distance of about 500m.

Due to storing explosive material, this is considered a sensitive location, and has its own internal coding and classification. It is controlled by the personnel of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The director of the Cheraghi Industry is an engineer identified as Assadi.

Sixth: Karimi Industry - 2500

Karimi Industry, code 2500, is tasked with producing fire chain. This division produces various parts of transferring fuel to the engine and the exit part of the missile.

The division's plant is in Khojir site, near Al. The director of the Karimi Industry is an engineer identified as Gholizadeh.

Seventh: Kalhor Industry - 1500

Kalhor Industry, code 1500, is tasked with producing launchers.

The division's production plant is at the Hemmat Industry in Hakimiyeh. The division's director is an engineer identified as Hosseini.

Eighth: Headquarters of the Hemmat Missile Industry

The headquarters of the Hemmat Missile Industry is located at the Hakimiyeh region. Due to traffic sensitivities by officials at the headquarters, it is anticipated that part of the Hemmat Industry headquarters be transferred to Khojir region, code B4, indicated with blue-colored buildings.

Nasser Maleki is the director of the Hemmat Missile Industry and resides in this location.

Third: Bakeri Missile Industry Group

Bakeri Industry is one of the subdivisions of the Air and Space Organization. It is tasked with building surface-to-surface missiles. It is also involved in building ballistic and Shahab missiles.

The director of the Bakeri Missiles Industry is an engineer identified as Akhlaghi.

A number of the division's production centers are located in the Khojir region.

There are four sections within this division: Kharrazi, Sani-Khani, and Eslami (research center) Industry. Some of the Bakeri industrial centers are located in Khojir region.

Center of Bakeri Industry Group

This center is located within the Khojir region after the Al area and in vicinity of Kharrazi Industry.

Kharrazi Industry

This group is within Khojir region after the Atashneshani Square. Engineer Siavosh is the head of this group.

Sani-Khani Industry

It is located close to Kharrazi Industry.

Bakeri Industry Logistics

It is located passed Tange Square near Khojir garrison.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The mullahs' regime, ignoring the demands of the civilized world, continues its meddling in Iraq, its support of extremist and terrorist groups, and its export of terrorism and fundamentalism in the region. As a result, the world is faced with an unprecedented crisis.

Six years ago the Iranian Resistance exposed the mullahs' secrete nuclear programs and revealed their key sites in Natanz and Arak after 18 years of concealed development, solely designed to attain nuclear weapons. Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed that the Iranians have refused to respond to agency's inquiries about the military aspects of their nuclear program. This has placed IAEA's investigation in a dead-end halt. IAEA's admittance, although unexplainably delayed, confirms Iran regime's true motives behind its nuclear strive.

In the past 6 years, western countries with their lack of a decisive position, with stalling, and with the policy of offering carrots, have only encouraged mullahs in accelerating their nuclear weapons program.

I emphasize that the mullahs' atomic crisis has only one solution: democratic change in Iran.

Unfortunately, West has not given up hope on mullahs' behavior change. This is a mirage and a delusion. This is the policy of appeasement disguised in a different form.

New resolutions for intensifying the sanctions against Iran face complications due to international circumstances. On the contrary, democratic change in Iran is quite accessible and means of achieving it readily available. There have been more than 5,000 anti government demonstrations in Iran in the past year. The West is either naive about the depth of the hatred of the Iranian people for the ruling regime, or intentionally ignores the explosive potential of the Iranian society. Iranians chant "Freedom is our inalienable right" in their anti government demonstrations, in clear contrast to regime's claims and slogans.

West must recognize the right of the Iranian people for democratic change. The Iranian resistance can ignite the engine of massive movements in Iran. A large bi-partisan group of Members of Congress believe that keeping the main opposition movement, namely the People's Mojahedin Organization on the terror list is a serious impediment to democratic change in Iran. After all, the terrorist label, as admitted by Clinton administration officials, was a token of appeasement for Tehran mullahs. The ruling clerics are now pressuring the American Government to transfer the security of Ashraf, home to the 3500 members of the Iranian opposition in Iraq, away from the coalition forces that have been in charge of this task in the last five years.

Images from Google Earth

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