Whilst the missile’s fuselage was largely identical in appearance to the Kh-55, the propulsion systems of the two missiles were very different. Many of those policy tools would be most effective if the United States had the full cooperation of the international community. Iran's long range ballistic missile program has apparently overcome some key bottlenecks over the past year, due primarily to assistance fromRussian entities, possibly with the tacit approval of the Russian government itself. Not least, the slower speed of cruise missiles — relative to ballistic missiles — has also made improving accuracy less challenging, particularly in the context of commercially available GPS and low-cost miniaturized electronics. Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities. Recently there has been a lot of attention given to the “Possible Military Dimension” of the Iran Nuclear Program, in particular concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and its nuclear delivery capability. Not surprisingly, the countries that are America’s closest Middle East partners, Iran’s major regional adversaries, and the most significant potential targets of Iranian and Iranian-assisted missile attacks—Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE—are the strongest opponents of Tehran’s missile program and the missile and rocket capabilities of Tehran’s regional proxies. This report’s evaluation does, however, suggest that two potential negotiating objectives hold more promise in terms of reducing the Iranian missile threat, monitorability, and negotiability: A third potential negotiating objective might have promise if there is progress in reducing regional tensions or resolving key regional disputes: banning Iranian missile-related exports. And because the Soumar was a ground-launched derivative of an air-launched system, it had a new booster rocket equipped with unique lattice fins. Iran's Nuclear Missile Delivery Capability. Rightly or not, considerable attention has been directed toward Iran and its cruise missile capabilities. Iran has a missile capability range of up to 2,000 kilometers, enough to reach its sworn enemy Israel and U.S. military bases in the Middle East. That all said, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s 2017 report simply swapped “Meshkat” for “Soumar,” thereby indicating that the missile did in fact reflect a genuine capability advance. *Each nation is assessed on individual and collective values processed through an in-house formula to generate a 'PwrIndx' score. Mar Though the Soumar clearly looks like a derivative of the Kh-55, the revelation of the Soumar appeared to suggest that in just over a decade Iran had succeeded in building a cruise missile analogous in capabilities to the Tomahawk, thereby heralding a major development in the regional military balance. But the 28 members of the European Union (EU) do not have a uniform view of the Iran missile threat and the means for dealing with it. TEHRAN - Iran’s ballistic missile exercise in recent days caused quick and negative reactions by Israel. Although much is uncertain about the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the incident has directed considerable attention towards Iran’s cruise missile capabilities. This new missile capability brings it for the first time within striking range of the key states of the region, including Israel, much of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and all of the Gulf sheikdoms. But the above types of measures can only go so far in impeding and countering the Iranian missile threat. But if it is prepared to accept more significant limits, such as restrictions on flight tests of long-range missiles or a ban on missile-related exports, it could expect to receive more, such as a relaxation or suspension of U.S. missile-related sanctions. They have condemned Iranian missile launches as inconsistent with the missile restrictions of UNSC Resolution 2231, opposed Iran’s missile-related assistance to its regional proxies, and encouraged negotiations aimed at placing restraints on Iran’s missile capabilities and exports. mm/sms (AFP, AP) Iran test-fires ballistic missiles at ‘hypothetical’ enemy ships Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle. Therefore, the question of incentivizing Iranian missile restraint would have to be considered in the context of the leverage available to promote Iranian restraint across the board—and how to allocate that leverage to achieve various negotiating objectives. If effective, they can complicate, slow, and impede Iran’s missile activities; deter Iran from using missiles; and degrade the ability of Iran’s missile force to achieve its military and political objectives. "By combining these new missile capabilities and drone operations as well as the use of artificial intelligence technology, a new power was born in … Iran has a missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometers, far enough to reach archenemy Israel and US military bases in the region. Importantly, throwing money at the cruise missile challenge will not necessarily resolve it. Command and control must also be well integrated, extensive networks of sensors put into place, the capabilities of ground-based air defenders and air forces synergized, and, not least, the Gulf Arab states will need to cooperate and coordinate on air defense operations, which is difficult when centrally positioned Qatar is politically isolated by its neighbors. The IRGC said its commander, Major General Hossein Salami, had attended the unveiling of what he described as an “simultaneous or consecutive launch … There is no strong evidence that Iran is actively developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. Unlike in the case of its nuclear program, it does not consider itself under any legal obligation to limit its missile capabilities and does not face united international opposition to its missile program; it even receives support from key countries for its stance on missile issues. Iran not to negotiate on defense capability. Israeli officials have expressed their worries over Iran’s military drills in Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean due to Iran’s capability to fire high tech and anti-ship missiles … Iran possesses a large amount of different missiles, from short-range missiles to long-range cruise-missiles. Iran, it seems, put together and carried out a complex strike composed of more than a dozen munitions. 8 Its missile arsenal ... develop and deploy a spectrum of missile capabilities, which…threaten U.S. While placing priority on indigenous development, Iran remains dependent on importing key components and materials. Since the 1980s, Iran has made large ongoing investments towards anti-ship missiles. Coupled with the country’s missile capabilities is its robust civil nuclear program; the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) curtailed Iran’s nuclear program but faces uncertainty following the U.S. withdrawal from the Agreement, and there is a possibility Iran may r… There is much the United States can do using the full spectrum of policy tools at its disposal to impede improvements in Iran’s missile force and to mitigate its threat. Hoot Torpedo: Persian-language resources; Iran's Ballistic Missile Programs: An Overview, updated July 21, 2008 Iran's Ballistic Missile and Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs, hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, September 21, 2000 Arms Control Iran might even develop and field anti-surface versions of its versatile Sayyad missile, adding to its regional threat options. Iran not to negotiate on defense capability Regarding the latest remarks of Jake Sullivan, Biden's incoming national security adviser, over Iran’s missile program, Khatibzadeh said, "Iran's defense capability has never been and will not be negotiated." Less than a decade ago, a prominent assessment of Iran’s missile capabilities against Saudi oil facilities found Tehran’s threats to be lacking in credibility. Russia has been Iran’s chief defender in the Security Council, vetoing a British draft resolution condemning Iran for supplying missiles to the Houthis in violation of the UNSC-mandated Yemen arms embargo and maintaining that Iran is respecting in good faith the call in Resolution 2231 to refrain from activities related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”, Middle East state responses. All things considered, cruise missiles are substitutes for ballistic missiles and manned combat aircraft for the targeting of military and economic facilities. Several negotiated restraint options, which could be pursued individually or in combination, are addressed in this report and are evaluated in terms of their likely effectiveness in reducing the threat, their monitorability, and their negotiability (i.e., the likelihood Iran would agree). The Strategic Context: Ballistic Missiles, Missile Defense, and Iran’s Strike Capabilities. Iran’s long-range cruise missile capabilities can be traced to a Soviet cruise missile. But the United States should continue to press hard on the Iranian missile issue with Russia, China, and other such countries. Iran used its largest warship, the Makran and the Zere which has missile-launch capability for the two-day drill. By Tyler Rogoway January 17, 2021 Iran shows off new ballistic, cruise missiles as US tensions rise. Iran's missile capabilities are a key part of its military prowess Iran has launched more than a dozen missiles at two bases in Iraq housing US forces. Notably, a very similar, if not identical, turbojet engine was on display at a 2019 defense industrial exhibition in Iran. Prior to the Ya Ali and until the Soumar and Hoveyzeh were revealed, Iran’s longest reaching cruise missile of any type (i.e., including anti-ship missiles, which will be discussed later) had a maximum range of around 300 kilometers. Speaking in a webinar with the United States Institute of Peace, Sullivan claimed that Iran was “significantly” closer to manufacturing a nuclear weapon than under the Obama administration. Whereas Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities are relatively well known, with each additional test launch making international news, Iran’s cruise missile capabilities have advanced under the proverbial radar. November 24, 2014. That said, the near-term outlook for directly engaging Iran and negotiating meaningful missile limitations is poor. In response to appeals that Iran agree to missile talks, Iranian officials at all levels assert that Iran’s missile capabilities are non-negotiable. Iranian Ambitions and Cruise Missiles Iran has the largest missile arsenal in the Middle East. As the next step, the Iranian regime is currently trying to produce 15 missiles. The United States and like-minded countries should engage in active public and private diplomatic efforts to underscore the threats posed by Iran’s missile force, to warn countries like Russia and China of the implications for them of a growing Iranian missile force (including possible sanctions against their entities and a build-up of U.S. and partner missile defenses), to urge countries with influence in Tehran to press for missile restraint, and to improve receptivity to Iran-related counterproliferation and trade control efforts by the United States. The end of the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq War may have ended Iran’s interest in ballistic missiles, but Tehran’s regional security environment changed dramatically with the Gulf War and the increased American military presence that followed. Image: Wiki Commons (Photo by Hossein Mersadi, FARS News), Signing up for this newsletter means you agree to our data policy. And while Iran’s ballistic missiles progressively improved in accuracy, its neighbors and the United States had not sat by idly. It represents Iran's first successful attempt to acquire MRBMs and gives the country the capability to threaten targets which lie beyond its immediate borders. Recently there has been a lot of attention given to the “Possible Military Dimension” of the Iran Nuclear Program, in particular concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and its nuclear delivery capability. But a distinct and previously unknown cruise missile has been used by the Iran-aligned group Ansarallah in Yemen. Tehran routinely unveils technological achievements for its armed forces, space programme, and its nuclear efforts. The first and foremost deterrence component in the Islamic Republic of Iran's defense policy is to strengthen its military capabilities based on missile defense. The use of Iranian ballistic missiles is not just theoretical. With foreign assistance, Iran developed ballistic missiles of increasing range and sophistication. Iran's Nuclear Missile Delivery Capability. Despite international censure, the Revolutionary Guards have been able to develop the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the region. This could limit increases in the missile threat from Iran’s proxies, albeit not their current inventories or the direct threat posed by Iran’s own missile force. The Sejjil series of missiles are among Iran’s most capable — they have a range of 2,000 kilometers (around 1,250 miles) and a warhead in the 500-1,000 kilogram range (about 1,100 to … As news broke that the damage was caused by an actor with significant military capabilities, oil prices initially surged and concerns mounted about how long a major part of Saudi oil production would be offline. Regarding the latest remarks of Jake Sullivan, Biden’s incoming national security adviser, over Iran’s missile program, Khatibzadeh said, “Iran’s defense capability has never been and will not be negotiated.” “Iran’s defense capability is pursued independently based on the country’s needs. To avoid a similar fate, Iran worked to develop the capacity to target the ports and airports of disembarkation and to deny safe harbor for American combat aircraft in the region. In 2001, Iran procured through the Ukrainian black market a dozen Kh-55 cruise missiles, air-launched munitions originally carried by the bombers of the Soviet air force’s Long-Range Aviation. As of this writing, it is unclear whether the Ya Ali is in Iranian service. Interestingly, during the same media event, Iranian officials remarked that the previous iteration, the Soumar, had a much shorter range of 700 kilometers. Facing air and missile attacks on its cities and witnessing the rapid atrophying of an air force almost entirely composed of American aircraft, Iran turned to Libya, Syria, and North Korea for the Soviet R-17 ballistic missile, which was also utilized by Iraq. For 2021, Iran is ranked 14 of 138 out of the countries considered for the annual GFP review.It holds a PwrIndx* rating of 0.2511 (0.0000 considered 'perfect'). According to both Saudi officials and members of a panel of experts reporting to the U.N. Security Council, the Quds-1 utilizes a Czech-origin TJ100 turbojet engine. As for the United States, its forward garrisons at al-Udeid and al-Dhafra airbases in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, respectively, are increasingly vulnerable. While the country’s ballistic missiles are relatively well known, its cruise missile capabilities have been very much evolving under the radar for the past decade or so. Get foreign policy updates from Brookings. Iran has missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), far enough to reach archenemy Israel and U.S. military bases in the region. The problem here, however, was that the Kh-55 was an air-launched nuclear-armed cruise missile designed to be used by Soviet bomber aircraft. In December 2005, Iran entered into a contract to purchase 29 TOR-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) mobile surface-to-air missile defense systems from Russia worth more than US$700 million (EUR 600 million). Iranian Tomahawks? Iran has a missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometers, far enough to reach archenemy Israel and US military bases in the region. Guidance for the Brookings community and the public on our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) », Learn more from Brookings scholars about the global response to coronavirus (COVID-19) ». All things considered, advances in Iranian military capabilities and the attacks against targets in the region involving Iranian-origin systems indicate that the military balance in the Gulf is fast evolving. Export controls will slow, but not stop progress. Although these anti-ship cruise missiles have active radar guidance primarily designed to target ships, if the radar system is suitably adjusted and inertial navigation and GPS navigation incorporated, they can be modified to strike land targets, particularly coastal targets such as ports, oil and gas terminals, and desalination plants. Upgrading passive defenses of key regional airbases, ports, command and control facilities, and other critical nodes—through such methods as hardening, concealment, duplication, and preparations for rapid repair—can reduce the vulnerability of protected assets to missile attack and degrade Iran’s ability to meet specific regional military goals. There is still much work the United States can do at present to address the Iranian missile threat. In a high-profile defense exhibition attended by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 2014, Iran revealed what it called the Ya Ali cruise missile. Space-launch vehicles. Iran’s longer-range cruise missiles constitute strike capabilities most akin to those used by other countries, such as the American Tomahawk and Russian Kalibr missiles. Shahryar Pasandideh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at The George Washington University. It believes it faces major external threats and regards its missile program as a critical means of addressing those threats and of promoting its regional political and security goals. That said, both the Soumar and the Hoveyzeh have been displayed with a dielectric nose cone, thereby suggesting that they may be equipped with some form of radar-based terminal guidance. Only the United States, Russia and China have missiles with this range capability. Much is uncertain about the recent attacks Saudi oil facilities —including who ordered them and why, who carried them out, and, not least, the question of which munitions were used to strike the facilities. While the Soumar and Hoveyzeh constitute Iran’s current high-end cruise missiles, there are other systems at Tehran’s disposal and there are grounds to suspect that one of these was utilized in the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities. In February 2019, Iran revealed the Hoveyzeh cruise missile. Even if many of Iran’s ballistic missiles continue to be too inaccurate for use against discrete targets such as the critical nodes in the oil and gas extraction and export process, the introduction of Iranian cruise missiles results in these shortcomings no longer being so politically salient. The Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign is putting great stress on the Iranian economy, but it is unlikely to force Iran to capitulate to U.S. demands that Tehran considers extreme and unjustified and that it believes are motivated by a desire to undermine the regime. What Is Known About Iran's Nuclear Capabilities How much time might it take for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon and a delivery system to launch it? In May and June 2019, two high-ranking Iraqi military commanders visited Iran … Iran has repeatedly and adamantly rejected Western interest in constraining its missile capabilities. The missile program serves key Iranian goals: deterring attacks against Iran, providing warfighting capabilities if deterrence fails or Iran decides to initiate hostilities, supporting military capabilities of regional proxies such as Hezbollah and the Houthis, enhancing national pride and regional influence, and providing a nuclear delivery hedge if Iran decides to acquire nuclear weapons. … But these other tools cannot prevent a determined and resourceful country like Iran from pursuing missile activities. Iran can be expected to seek compensation for any negotiated missile restraints. Iran could conceivably use its advanced anti-ship missile capabilities and combat prowess to discourage Gulf States from supporting sanctions imposed on Iran or as a signal to states like Saudi Arabia against actively participating in the Yemen crisis. Past Event While unimpressive when compared to the Soumar and Hoveyzeh, these ranges are in fact sufficient for anti-ship missiles units deployed along Iran’s coastline to strike at important targets such as the extensive oil export terminals at Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia and the extensive natural gas production and export facilities at Ras Laffan in Qatar. Instead, they prefer more coercive policy tools—sanctions, interdictions, and possibly pre-emptive military strikes. The introduction of Iranian cruise missiles to the military balance also increases the vulnerability of military facilities in the region. While defending against ballistic missiles is no easy task either, the demands on integration and cooperation are, in an important sense, not as great as those experienced against cruise missiles. Following a large exhibition of Ansarallah missile and rocket capabilities, it became clear that the Quds-1 is a distinctly new design. Since 2017, Iran has possessed long-range SA-20c surface-to-air missiles provided by Russia, according to the US Defense Intelligence Agency, which calls the system Iran… This is why the United States must be prepared, if the opportunity arises, to engage in direct diplomacy with Iran to seek restraint in its missile program. Fabian Hinz, an analyst of Iran’s missile program, has used the known dimensions of the TJ100 to measure the diameter of the Quds-1, revealing a 34-centimeter diameter missile clearly distinct from the Soumar/Hoveyzeh, which has a diameter of 51.4 centimeters. The original Shahab-3 missile, unveiled in 2003, is nearly identical to the North Korean No Dong 1 missile, and almost certainly is based on technology and parts from North Korea. A ground-launched derivative of an export ban probably would be most effective if the United States not. Perhaps most prominently, the Iranian missile threat in the near term far in impeding countering... 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