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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IRI Army: Advanced missiles sites took aback world military analysts

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 20, IRNA -- IRI Army issued a communiqué Monday on occasion of August 21st, Defense Industry Day, announcing: Today devoted Iranian youth have challenged modern military technologies by making ultra-advanced missile sites.

According to a Monday evening report of the IRI Army Public Relations, in the communiqué the Defense Industry Day is referred to as 'the day when the enemies lost hope' and 'a poisonous arrow on the coffin of sanctions and threats of oppressors' that once imposed a war hoping for the downfall of the great revolution of the Iranian nation and are still brewing such ideas in their minds.

In the Army communiqué it is reiterated, 'The enemies did not imagine that there were people in this land who very closely heed and obey the orders of their leader and imam, and create another revolution in the field of defense industries, thus remaining faithful to the ideals of Imam Khomeini (P) and their revolution.'

The communiqué continues, 'August 21st reminds us of over three decades of selfless work braveries of Jihadi youth who under the sagacious initiatives of the Supreme Leader of the revolution, and resorting to the revolutionary motto 'We can' of Imam Khomeini (P), have managed to design and manufacture modern defense products, and of course appropriate with the soft and hard threats, marked the ever increasing readiness of the country.

Elsewhere in the communiqué we read, 'These Jihadi youth by severing any type of military dependence, paved the path towards the might of the system and the country's armed forces, and with the passage of each day emerged more ready and better equipped for safeguarding the achievements of the revolution.'

The communiqué continues, 'Beyond doubt a major part of the defense capability and ever increasing advancement of the country are indebted to the efforts made by devoted young technicians who merely by putting on display a small part of their willpower in manufacturing military facilities in land, air and sea fields, and intelligent radar systems, have challenged the up-to-date technologies of the world.'

The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran then congratulates this day to the entire activists in the field of defense industry and scientific institutes, universities, and industries, and particularly at the Ministry of Defense and Logistical Affairs of the Armed Forces, praying to Almighty Allah for ever increasing success of these beloved ones under the supporting umbrella of the 12th Imam, Mahdi (may God hasten his glorious reappearance) and the sagacious leadership of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamene'ie).

Since the Iraqi imposed war, Tehran has been steadily expanding its missile arsenal. The country has also invested heavily in its own industries and infrastructure to lessen dependence on unreliable foreign sources. It is now able to fully produce its own missiles. Iran has demonstrated that it can also significantly expand the range of acquired missiles, as it has done with Nodong missiles from North Korea, which it then renamed. Iran’s missiles can already hit any part of the Middle East, including Israel. Over time, Tehran has established the capacity to create missiles to address a full range of strategic objectives.

Iran’s expanding arsenal

The Islamic Republic’s arsenal now includes several types of short-range and medium-range missiles. Estimates vary on specifics. But there is widespread consensus that Tehran has acquired and creatively adapted foreign technology to continuously increase the quality and quantity of its arsenal. It has also launched an ambitious space program that works on some of the same technology. The arsenal includes:

Shahab missiles: Since the late 1980s, Iran has purchased additional short- and medium-range missiles from foreign suppliers and adapted them to its strategic needs. The Shahabs, Persian for “meteors,” were long the core of Iran’s program. They use liquid fuel, which involves a time-consuming launch. They include:

The Shahab-1 is based on the Scud-B. (The Scud series was originally developed by the Soviet Union). It has a range of about 300 kms or 185 miles.

The Shahab-2 is based on the Scud-C. It has a range of about 500 kms, or 310 miles. In mid-2010, Iran is widely estimated to have between 200 and 300 Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 missiles capable of reaching US targets in neighboring countries.

The Shahab-3 is based on the Nodong, which is a North Korean missile. It has a range of about 900 km or 560 miles. It has a nominal payload of 1,000 kg. A modified version of the Shahab-3, renamed the Ghadr-1, began flight tests in 2004. It theoretically extends Iran’s reach to about 1,600 km or 1,000 miles, which qualifies as a medium-range missile. But it carries a smaller, 750-kg warhead.

Although the Ghadr-1 was built with key North Korean components, defense minister of the time Ali Shamkhani said at the time, “Today, by relying on our defense industry capabilities, we have been able to increase our deterrent capacity against the military expansion of our enemies.”

Sejjil missiles: Sejjil means “baked clay” in Persian. These are a class of medium-range missiles that use solid fuel, which offer many strategic advantages. They are less vulnerable to preemption because the launch requires shorter preparation – minutes rather than hours. Iran is the only country to have developed missiles of this range without first having developed nuclear weapons.

This family of missiles centers on the Sejjil-2, a domestically produced surface-to-surface missile. It has a medium-range of about 2,200 km or 1,375 miles when carrying a 750-kg warhead. It was test fired in 2008 under the name Sejjil. The Sajjil-2, which is probably a highly modified version, began test flights in 2009. This missile would allow Iran to “target any place that threatens Iran,” according to Brigadier General Abdollah Araghi, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander.

The Sejjil-2, which became operational before 2012, is the most likely most effective weapon in Iran's domestic missile defense system.

The Sejjil program’s success indicates that Iran’s long-term missile acquisition plans are likely to focus on solid-fuel systems. They are more compact and easier to deploy on mobile launchers. They require less time to prepare for launch, making them less vulnerable to preemption by aircraft or other missile defense systems.

Iran can use Sejjil technologies to produce a three-stage missile capable of flying 3,700 km or 2,200 miles.

Courtesy: Iran Primer, for the background on Iran's missile capabilities

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80284596

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