IRGC Aerospace Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said today in Mashhad that Iran has the capability and technology for the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The general added, however, that Iran does not see “any need” for their production.
“We were able to send a satellite into orbit, because we have this technology. But since Iran's enemies are not far from the border, we do not consider it necessary to face high costs and build such missiles,” Hajizadeh said. (Fars News Agency/Trend, 10 October)
Hajizadeh was referring to Safir, the country’s first expendable space launch vehicle (SLV) that has already placed satellites into orbit. The latest was the launch of Navid satellite into space in February 2012. Safir’s technology could be used to develop an ICBM.
By “not far from border,” the IRGC missile chief was referring to Israel as well as U.S. installations and assets in the Persian Gulf as potential targets. Iran currently has medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) that can reach those targets. Shahab-3, Sejjil-2, and Ashura are the country’s advanced MRBMs.
The ballistic missiles were originally designed to carry nuclear warheads. The Iranian military is deploying them as the primary means of conventional retaliatory attack, making them less credible as a retaliatory force.
File photo: Safir SLV (Mehr News Agency)